Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Latino Books Month

I'm going to make believe that Arizona is not a state in the union for a lil bit while I bask in another gift the month of May decided to give me- Latino Books Month. You mean we get ANOTHER month to bask in our awesomeness? Wow. That makes THREE. Who else has this many commemorative months? HMMM? EXACTLY!

Okay, enough bragging.

Wait, one more: IN YO FACE, BITCHEZZZZZZZ *dances inappropriately to bachata music in front of your parents*

Okay, now I'm done.

It seems like the best time to also remind you that I have a literary reading and "after party" this Saturday, and if you can be there it would be AWESOME.

And as your resident Literary Latina, I feel it's my duty to help you make some good reading choices to celebrate Latino Book Month. The following five recommendations are books from my shelf, so get a pen and paper and grab your library card- class is now in session.

1- La Fiesta Del Chivo/ The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa.
Celebrated as THE work of fiction that deals with the Dominican Republic of Trujillo and his successor, Balaguer, you should not only read this book for its historical relevance but because Llosa is a literary genius. Oh wait, most of you will probably only read the translation...damn. Well, lets hope the translator does his words justice.

2- Monkey Hunting by Cristina Garcia.
I love this book so much because the author, a woman, writes for all-male protagonists in such a rich and powerful way. I'm almost jealous. Monkey Hunting also follows the story of a Chinese/Cuban/American family and OH MAN, Garcia really knows how to drag you into a story. Trust!

3- El Llano en Llamas/The Burning Plain (and other stories) by Juan Rulfo.
Talk about meshing literature with social consciousness and the natural order/natural world; Rulfo is a master at it. All of the stories deal with rural people and their actions and interactions with their environment- good and bad. I promise you it's a great read.

4- Como Agua Para Chocolate/Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.
Forget the movie (although it was a pretty accurate representation of the novel) THE BOOK. I...words...escape... It's the story of the De La Garza family- Mama Elena, Rosaura, Gertudis and Tita, and their unique dynamic. Being the youngest/last daughter, Tita is not allowed to marry because she must care for Mama Elena until she dies. You already know where this is going right? Or so you think...

5- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.
Look, I've already discussed this book with you ad nauseum: Diaz won a Pulizer for it, I discussed it on Monday Musings, etc etc etc... I hate having to repeat myself. But seriously, if you only read ONE BOOK off this list, it should be Oscar Wao. It's a trip back in time in DR complete with socio-political commentary, a history lesson and the tale of a misfit Dominican trying to find his place in this "new" world. Like me.

There are so many others I'm not even getting into that were amazingly awesome, but for lack of space (and time to write about it) I will leave it at five for now and recommend a new title every Friday. Deal? Deal.

But before you go, feel free to check out this AMAZING up-and-coming literary darling: ME.

*smooches...smothering myself in words*
I'm actually debuting a fresh, new, hot off the presses story this Saturday. You won't want to miss it :)