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.
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!