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Thursday, September 16, 2010

16 De Septiembre: Celebrating Mexican Literature, plus Giveaway!

15 Lovely Comments!
Howdy Everyone! Missie, The Unread Reader, here. *waves* I'm so excited (and nervous) to be a guest blogger on Larissa's Bookish Life today.

Why? Well, today Mexico celebrates their Independence Day! So, for my guest post, I thought it would be cool to check out a few Mexican and Mexican-American authors.

I'll be the first to admit that although I live in South Texas, right along the Mexican border, I know very little about the Mexican literary genre, but I'm learning, or trying to at least.

I do know that right now is an exciting time for writers in this area. Border Studies and South Texas Literature is growing in popularity quite rapidly in the fiction and non-fiction genres, along with Chicano literature, which just started getting published in the last 30 years or so.

Also gaining notice is Chicano/Mexican-American/Mexican literature for young adults. Books like The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Estrella's Quinceañera by Malin Alegria, Rainbow Boys by Alex Sánchez,  Marisol by Gary Soto, and Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Sáenz have received numerous awards and are often used in schools as recommended readings to teach tolerance and diversity.

Before novels and authors like these, Mexican YA fiction was a hidden treasure. Personally, I'm glad it is getting more and more recognized.

Some other great works in Mexican and Mexican-American literature include:
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. Ultima, a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic, comes to Antonio Marez's New Mexico family when he is six years old, and she helps him discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past.
  • So Far from God by Ana Castillo. The story of Sofia and her four daughters who deal with such current social issues as AIDS, industrial pollution, the volatile political situation in the Middle East, poor people's struggle for self - sufficiency, and the current interest in alternate spirituality and natural medicine.
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Set during the Revolution, this love story describes familial duty, devotion, and traditional recipes from rural, early-20th-century Mexico.
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. A look at spirituality and about finding one's own integrity, self-love, and peace by way of absolving oneself from responsibility for the woes of others.

And you have to have heard of writers like:
  • José Agustín, author of The Tomb, Profile View, and Deserted Cities
  • Carlos Fuentes, author of The Death of Artemio Cruz, Terra Nostra, Holy Place, and The Old Gringo
  • Octavio Paz Lozano, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature

All of these authors and poets have make incredible contributions to Mexican and Mexican-American literature by writing about the rich history and culture of Mexican families, religions, traditions and social structures. Have you read any of the books mentioned in this post? If so, please tell me about it!

Are you all still with me? If so, time for a GIVEAWAY! I have a copy of The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans to giveaway to one lucky reader!


The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans by Carmen Tafolla 

In this wonderfully creative collection of sixteen short stories, Tafolla brings to life the bilingual/bicultural world of the Texas-Mexico border. As in her previous works, Tafolla celebrates the resilient human spirit of her characters amidst the prejudice and hypocrisy, the faith and magic, and the family, and community that are part of this world. The stories are poignant, even tragic, and they are funny, filled with humor. Tafolla’s energy is felt throughout. As Carmen herself says, “ It’s about those things that are really holy and miraculous, but it’s also about those very common, underappreciated blessings, like a homemade pot of beans.”

Author Bio: Dr. Carmen Tafolla, a native of San Antonio, is an internationally acclaimed writer, poet, performer, and educational consultant. She has developed a reputation as a folklorist of the Chicano-Mexicano community. Described by Alex Haley as a 'world class writer,' she has published poetry, screenplays, children's books, short stories and articles. Her work has appeared in over 200 anthologies, and she has performed her one-woman show, “My Heart Speaks a Different Language.” In addition to the Rivera Award winning book, The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans, she has also published other recent children’s books, What Can You Do with a Rebozo?, and What Can You Do with a Paleta?. You can read more about this author here. Source: The Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award

Entering this giveaway is very simple. Just leave your name and contact e-mail address along with a book recommendation by an author outside of the US. That's right! I want to know about more great authors. Authors I do not share a home country with. And since I am going to be doing the mail out myself, this contest is open to everyone, international peeps included!
 
Many thanks to Larissa for letting me hang out here today. I'll be back on Saturday to jump on Larissa's bed and raid her frig. I will also be announcing the winner of the giveaway! 



15 Responses so far.

  1. sRy_ says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. Esther says:

    I would recommend 'Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood' by Marjane Satrapi.
    This is a graphic novel, which I normally find distracting, but it is extremely readable. With a light humourous touch the author tells us about growing up in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran.

    Esther
    eshchory AT gmail DOT com

  3. debbie says:

    I liked like water for chocolate by laura esquivel. It has a fairy tale quality that I really liked.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

  4. Carol M says:

    I recommend Exit Music by Ian Rankin. He is from Scotland.
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  5. Teril says:

    terilhack(@)yahoo.com
    Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
    originally published in the UK

  6. My recommendation is

    Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account by Miklós Nyiszli

    http://www.amazon.com/Auschwitz-Eyewitness-Dr-Miklos-Nyiszli/dp/1559702028/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284657800&sr=8-1

    He is a hungarian doctor and auschwitz survivor. This is his true story. He was forced to work with Dr Mengele in the camp. A very touching novel.

    Szilvia

    szaboszilvia(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. I'd would recommend you any book written by Haruki Murakami or Stieg Larsson :).

    Thank you also for organizing this contest!

    Barbara
    himilika@hotmail.com

  8. Katie says:

    I'm so thankful for this post, Missie! I really want to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in my library and I am in desperate need of more Latino YA lit suggestions. Thank you!!

  9. Joeygirl says:

    Mrs. Joey
    Joeygirl_30906@yahoo.com

    I understand if i am not eligible for this but i would rather answer it honestly then just Google a book name. I haven't read any book by authors outside the U.S. that i know of.But i can give you a lot that are good in the US lol

    Larissa Ione, Lora Leigh, JR Ward, Lara Adrian, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Rachelle Mead, Cassandra Clare and there is a few more i could name.

    Thanks for letting me answer even if i am not put into the drawing. Keep up the great work hun!!

  10. buddyt says:

    Some good ones have already been mentioned.

    Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Spanish) books Shadow of the Wind and The Angels Game were both recently translated and I found them very, very good.

    His earlier YA books are also now being translated.

    Steig Larsson "Millenium" series. Girl With The Dragon tattoo etc. Unfortunately those three are the only ones as he died tragically before he knew how popular they were going to become.

    Jo Nesbo, the most popular crime writer in Norway. Who like Larsson writes crime novels. Redbreast, isthe latest ofh is I have read.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOTCOM

  11. yllers says:

    Thankls for the giveaway!

    I'm Kelly/ yvantis@hotmail.com

    I'd recommend The Island by Victoria Hislop or the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson!
    They are awesome!

  12. Kulsuma says:

    I recommend the Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz series.

    Count me in please if this is international.

    k_anon[at]hotmai[dot]co[dot]uk

  13. There are so many great foreign authors, don't know where to start.

    These two are my favourite French novels:

    If you would like to read some historical romance read The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas, it is fantastic!

    One of my alltime favourite novels is Death is my Trade by Robert Merle, extraordinary novel, a must read!

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. Jade says:

    To be honest, I love the YA books on the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, who is from Ireland and bases the book on his country, too. In Dublin, if I'm not mistaken :) He's such a genius himself to create an entire brilliant world on faeries and the rest that surround them. It's unique and different from the usual style of maybe Wicked Lovely (though that's a good book too)

    I really enjoyed reading your post! Thank you for the chance!

    legally_write[at]hotmail[dot]com

  15. Wanda says:

    I would love to be entered in your draw!
    One book I can recommend by an Canadian Author is A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews. Great book!
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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