Latino USA

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Bárbara Renaud González

Bárbara Renaud González, a native-born Tejana and acclaimed journalist, has written a lyrical story of land, love, and loss, bringing us a first novel of a working-class Tejano family set in the cruelest beauty of the Texas panhandle. Her story exposes the brutality, tragedy, and hope of her homeland and helps to fill a dearth of scholarly and literary works on Mexican and Mexican American women in post–World War II Texas.

Maria Hinojosa talks with Bárbara Renaud González about Golondrina, Why Did You Leave Me?.


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Eduardo Galeano Beyond Time and Space

We learned one thing: don’t call Eduardo Galeano an historian. He says he’s a lover of reality, and some of that reality happened in another time, some of it happens on another map. In what he calls a “boundless” book, Galeano sets out in Mirrors to tell universal stories from the past and the present, from here and there.

Here’s an excerpt:

LOST AND FOUND

The twentieth century, which was born proclaiming peace and justice, died bathed in blood. It passed on a world much more unjust than the one it inherited.

The twenty-first century, which also arrived heralding peace and justice, is following in its predecessor’s footsteps.

In my childhood, I was convinced that everything that went astray on earth ended up on the moon.

But the astronauts found no sign of dangerous dreams or broken promises or hopes betrayed.

If not on the moon, where might they be?

Perhaps they were never misplaced.

Perhaps they are in hiding here on earth. Waiting.

Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone by Eduardo Galeano, trans. Mark Fried. Published by Nation Books.

Maria Hinojosa sat down with Galeano in New York to talk about the new work.


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Commentary: Nuyorican Pride

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was raised in New York and is of Puerto Rican descent. And her appointment as the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court is a source of pride for all Latinos. If confirmed, Sotomayor would also be the third woman on the court. But as Commentator Joseph Pacheco notes, no one has a greater right to be more proud than Nuyoricans.

Nuyoricans are a cultural identity adopted by millions of Puerto Ricans who were raised in New York. Pacheco, who was the first Puerto Rican New Yorker to serve as a superintendent of New York public schools, knows something about being a “first.” And he dedicates a poem from his 2002 book, “First of the Nuyoricans,” to Judge Sotomayor.

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Remembering Mario Benedetti

In Latin America, he was as famous as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabelle Allende, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Carlos Fuentes. But in the English-speaking world, Mario Benedetti was largely unknown. And in Montevideo, Uruguay, Benedetto was not only famous, but beloved for what many say was his knack for capturing the essence of Uruguayan life, a great observer and recorder of the ordinary. Crowds of admirers used to gather at his public appearances to hear him read from his poems, essays, novels, and short stories.

Mario Benedetti died May 17 at the age of 88 in Montevideo.

Adriana Dominguez

While native to Uruguay, Benedetti was forced into exile from 1973 through 1985 when military dictatorships ruled the country. For a time, he lived in Lima, Buenos Aires, Havana, and Madrid. But in the end, he was considered the quintessential Montevideano.
Adriana Dominguez is a book editor who grew up in Uruguay. She writes a blog on Latin American authors called “Voces.”

Web Extra: Memorial Day Poem

Writer Joe Pacheco

Memorial Day was created to honor those veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country. With war casualties growing in Iraq and Afghanistan, Memorial Day takes on greater urgency. But, as poet and writer Joe Pacheco reminds us, the death of a loved one in wartime does not have to be recent, to be remembered. This year marks the 65th Anniversary of the passing of his brother Pedrito during World War II. Joseph Pacheco is a former New York City school superintendent. He’s now retired and lives on Sanibel Island in South Florida.

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