Showing posts with label mexico city. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mexico city. Show all posts

Friday, June 06, 2014

#FridayReads: Faces in the Crowd By: Valeria Luiselli

About Faces in the Crowd By: Valeria Luiselli
A multi-layered story told by two narrators: a 21st-century Emily Dickinson living in Mexico City who relates to the world vicariously through her children and a past that both overwhelms and liberates her, and a dying poet living in a run-down apartment in Philadelphia in the 1950s. 
While she tells the story of her past as a young editor in New York City desperately trying to convince a publisher to translate and publish the works of Gilberto Owen-an obscure Mexican poet who lived in Harlem during the 1920s and whose ghostly presence constantly haunts her in the subway-she also relates the slow but inevitable disintegration of her present family life.
Luiselli's novel stands apart from most Latin American fiction. She avoids worn-out narratives about drug wars and violence, and her downbeat supernaturalism feels quite different from the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez. Concerned, above all, with literature's ability to transcend time and space, Faces in the Crowd signals the appearance of an exciting female voice to join a new wave of Latino writers. Via The Guardian

Friday, February 14, 2014

#FridayReads: Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

Book list material:

Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

A haunting story of love and survival that introduces an unforgettable literary heroine

Ladydi Garcia Martínez is fierce, funny and smart. She was born into a world where being a girl is a dangerous thing. In the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, women must fend for themselves, as their men have left to seek opportunities elsewhere. Here in the shadow of the drug war, bodies turn up on the outskirts of the village to be taken back to the earth by scorpions and snakes. School is held sporadically, when a volunteer can be coerced away from the big city for a semester. In Guerrero the drug lords are kings, and mothers disguise their daughters as sons, or when that fails they “make them ugly” – cropping their hair, blackening their teeth- anything to protect them from the rapacious grasp of the cartels. And when the black SUVs roll through town, Ladydi and her friends burrow into holes in their backyards like animals, tucked safely out of sight.

While her mother waits in vain for her husband’s return, Ladydi and her friends dream of a future that holds more promise than mere survival, finding humor, solidarity and fun in the face of so much tragedy. When Ladydi is offered work as a nanny for a wealthy family in Acapulco, she seizes the chance, and finds her first taste of love with a young caretaker there. But when a local murder tied to the cartel implicates a friend, Ladydi’s future takes a dark turn. Despite the odds against her, this spirited heroine’s resilience and resolve bring hope to otherwise heartbreaking conditions.

An illuminating and affecting portrait of women in rural Mexico, and a stunning exploration of the hidden consequences of an unjust war, PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and determination.

Jennifer Clement's new novel Prayers for the Stolen was awarded the NEA Fellowship in Literature 2012 and will be published by Hogarth (USA and UK) in February 2014. The book has also been purchased by Suhrkamp, (Germany), Editions Flammarion, Gallimard (France), De Bezige Bij (Holland), Cappelen Damm (Norway), Hr Ferdinand (Denmark), Bonniers Förlag (Sweden), Laguna (Serbia), Euromedia (Czech Republic), Ikar (Slovakia) Lumen (Spain/Mexico), Guanda (Italy), Like (Finland), Libri (Hungary), Bjartur (Iceland),Rocco (Brazil),Israeli Penn Publishing (Israel, Muza (Poland) and Sindbad (Russia).

Jennifer Clement studied English Literature and Anthropology at New York University and also studied French literature in Paris, France. She has an MFA from the University of Southern Maine.

Clement is the author of the cult classic memoir Widow Basquiat (on the painter Jean Michel Basquiat) and two novels: A True Story Based on Lies, which was a finalist in the Orange Prize for Fiction, and The Poison That Fascinates.

She is also the author of several books of poetry: The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S. Merwin); Newton's Sailor; Lady of the Broom and Jennifer Clement: New and Selected Poems. Her prize-winning story A Salamander-Child is published as an art book with work by the Mexican painter Gustavo Monroy.

Jennifer Clement was awarded the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Fellowship for Literature 2012. She is also the recipient of the UK's Canongate Prize. In 2007, she received a MacDowell Fellowship and the MacDowell Colony named her the Robert and Stephanie Olmsted Fellow for 2007-08. Clement is a member of Mexico's prestigious "Sistema Nacional de Creadores."

Jennifer Clement was President of PEN Mexico from 2009 to 2012. She lives in Mexico City, Mexico and, along with her sister Barbara Sibley, is the founder and director The San Miguel Poetry Week.

via Amazon

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mexico 2010 Reading Challenge

Love this idea:

List includes:

A Sor Juana Anthology
Alan Trueblood (Trans.)
17th century poet, nun, feminist.
The Underdogs
Mariano Arzuela
Most famous novel of the revolution.
The Labyrinth of Solitude
Octavio Paz (Nobel Prize, Cervantes Prize)
Quintissential work on the Mexican national character.
Where the Air Is Clear
Carlos Fuentes (Cervantes Prize)
On the character of Mexico City.
Massacre in Mexico
Elena Poniatowska (Xavier Villaurrutia Prize)
One of the darkest chapters in Mexico’s recent history.
El arte de la fuga
Sergio Pitol (Cervantes Prize)
Selected Poems of Pacheco
Jose Emilio Pacheco (Cervantes Prize)
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies
Laura Esquivel
Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo
Hayden Herrera
On Mexico’s most famous artist.
Malinche: A Novel
Laura Esquivel
Re-imagining the “Eve” of the conquest era. any winners of the Sor Juana Prize I can find in English.

List includes:

Mexican Village, Josephina Niggli - This is a collection of interrelated short stories set in post-revolutionary Mexico.  Niggli incorporates Mexican folklore, legends, traditions, and songs in her stories.  It was first published in 1945.

Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera, Norma Elia Cantú -  This is a fictional biography of growing up on the border in the 1940s, 50s and early 60s.

Tinisima, Elena Poniatowski - This is novel based on the life of photographer and revolutionary, Tina Modotti (one of, if not my favorite photographers).  Modotti was actually born in Italy, was a silent film star and the muse of Edward Weston.  They both lived in Mexico.  She became a photographer in her own right, but in the end she gave it up in favor of politics.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Whoopi Equates Vick's Animal Cruelty to Puerto Rican Cockfighting

Is she serious?

"So much for the sedate alternative to Rosie O'Donnell on "The View." Whoopi Goldberg used her first day on the daytime chat show Tuesday to defend football star Michael Vick in his dogfighting case. Goldberg said that "from where he comes from" in the South, dogfighting isn't that unusual.

"It's like cockfighting in Puerto Rico," she said. "There are certain things that are indicative to certain parts of the country.""

Um, no it's not! First off, most Puerto Ricans (on mainland US) do not engage in cockfighting and as someone with a degree in anthropology and a background in cultural studies - I have never come across one mention of dogfighting or cruelly drowning dogs and bashing their heads in as part of a deep South/African American cultural study.

Secondly, while it's no argument that it's savage, in Puerto Rico cockfighting has been a legalized sport since 1933. There is no relevant comparison between what Vick's was doing in his mansion to the Puerto Ricans and cockfighting.

People who don't know what their talking about need to shut up, for real!
Don't perpetuate your own ignorant biases, please.

On to other news:

Scholastic wouldn't save Libreria Lectorum! They suck, if you ask me...
Read more here

NYC Events:

1. NYWIFT @ International Film Festivals in New York

A Brunch and A Day of Films by Latin American Filmmakers
@ Latinbeat Film Festival, 2007

The growing success of Latin American filmmaking is more evident than ever in this year's Latinbeat Film Festival. The festival presents 20 recent films from 11 Latin American countries, including outstanding works from countries with emerging industries that have never been represented in the festival before. It's proof that this year's festival is as diverse as Latin America itself.

For a fourth year, The Film Society of Lincoln Center and NYWIFT celebrate the work of Latina filmmakers with a brunch reception at the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery of the Walter Reade Theater.

Join us as we welcome Patricia Riggen (Mexico), Maryse Sistach (Mexico), Paula Heredia (El Salvador), Paz Fabrega (Costa Rica), Paz Encina (Paraguay), Tania Hermida (Ecuador), Tania Cypriano (Brazil) and Sandra Kogut (Brazil).

1:30 program:

Pinta The Bird / La Pajara Pinta
Paula Heredia, El Salvador, 2006, 10 min.
A book opens to reveal a magical legend set in a village in the smallest country of the American continent, where Pinta the Bird beckons a boy and a girl and makes their dreams come true.

Paz Fabrega, Costa Rica, 2006, 22 min.
In a small village on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Tanya and Laura are the only two high school students who stay behind after school closes. The two girls become close as they dream of the future.

My Grandmother Has a Video Camera
Tania Cypriano, Brazil/U.S., 2007. 60 min.
For over 20 years, a family of Brazilian immigrants in the United States used their home video camera to record first-hand how they saw their new world and struggled to establish themselves.

4:00 pm
How Much Further/Que tan lejos.
Tania Hermida, Ecuador, 2006, 92 min.
Esperanza arrives in the Andean country from her native Spain and runs into Tristeza, a cynical, mistrustful Ecuadorian university student. They soon embark together on a journey where, along the way, their exchanges with strangers and the companionship they find in each other result in surprising revelations.

Under the Same Moon/La misma luna
Patricia Riggen, Mexico, 2007, 190 min.
This is the story of nine year old Carlitos and his mother Rosario, who illegally crossed over to the United States to offer a better life for her son. Carlitos is raised by his grandmother in Mexico, until unexpected circumstances lead him and his mother to embark on separate journeys, in a desperate attempt to reunite.

Don't miss other films by Latina filmmakers showing at the festival:

Paraguayan Hammock/Hamaca paraguaya. Paz Encina, Paraguay
Mutum. Sandra Kogut, Brazil
Violet Perfume/Perfume de Violetas. Maryse Sistach, Mexico

All film are presented in their original languages with English subtitles
For more information about the films visit

Sunday, Sept 9th
Brunch reception @ 12:00 noon
Screening @ 1:30 pm
Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center
165 West 65th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, Plaza Level

NYWIFT and Film Society members $7. Non-members $11 (brunch included)
Tickets are available at The Walter Reade Theater box office,
and by prepayment at Please select affiliate price.

To RSVP for the brunch, please copy and paste the link below into your browser



For more information:

2. Fort Greene Festival feat. Talib Kweli
Sat 9.8 (12-10pm) Fort Greene Park (Dekalb Ave & Washington Park, Bklyn, 347.529.4171) map Event Info

Coming strong off his excellent new Eardrum release, BK son Talib Kweli joins local jazz, reggae, and hip-hop acts, as well as two feature films (including Rosie Perez's Yo Soy Boricua) and offerings from scores of restaurants, to celebrate this historically creative community.
Note: The fest runs all day, but musical acts take the stage starting at 2pm.

3. Celebrate México Now
when: Wed 9.5 - Sun 9.16 (schedule)
where: Various locations
price: Various
links: Event Info

Forget mariachis and margaritas, Celebrate México Now explores a culture ripe with diversity, all across town, over 11 days. Enjoy gourmet meals at Maya — featuring traditional Purépecha cuisine and native wine (Mon 9.10 - Thur 9.13) — and Papatzul (Sun 9.16), championing the traditional Sunday feast. Sample Mexico's recent cinematic explosion with shorts from the 2006 Morelia International Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Elisa Miller and Gustavo Gamou (Fri 9.7).

South-of-the-border music abounds, ranging from experimental cumbia sonidero to Veracruz sounds with Afro-Latin rhythms and indie rock. Since it's not a festival without a parade, on Saturday, 9.15, the stilt-walking Brooklyn Jumbies take to Chelsea with a street performance created by Laura Anderson Barbata.

--- Hispanic Heritage Month:

Gale Thomson has some great resources come and get 'em

- Grow your brain!
20 simple ways become bookworm

Monday, July 09, 2007

Brazil, Peru & Mexico Made the Wonders of the World List

Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer (statue), , Peru’s Machu Picchu, and Mexico’s Chichen-Itza are now among the new 7 Wonders of the World! Sweet.

See the whole list here:

Friday, May 04, 2007

Cinco de Mayo is Tomorrow!

Facts: (via Kaboose)

- Cinco de Mayo means “the fifth of May.” Many people believe it is Mexico’s Independence Day, but that is incorrect. (Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16.) Rather, Cinco de Mayo is the anniversary of a battle that took place between the Mexicans and the French in 1862.

- The battle is known as the Battle of Puebla, and it celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French. It also marks a turning point in Mexican national pride. A small, poorly armed group of about 4,500 men were able to stop the French invasion of a well-equiped French army that had about 6,500 or even 8,000 soldiers. The victory made the Mexican people very happy, and helped create a feeling of national unity.

- While Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday in Mexico, it is mainly observed in the state capital of Puebla. However, in the United States, it is becoming a popular holiday to celebrate Mexican culture. Kids and families can try delicious Mexican food, listen and dance to Mexican music, make and admire Mexican art, and shop for fun souvenirs and products at markets called “Mercado.”

Luxury Tequila:

Ingredients for a Margarita:
Triple Sec
Lime Juice

Quantities for one drink:
1 1/2 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Lime Juice

Blending Instructions:
Rub rim of cocktail glass with lime juice, dip rim in salt
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into the salt-rimmed glass, and serve

Serving Glass :
Cocktail Glass. Also known as a martini glass. The shape of the glass helps keep ingredients from separating, and the stem allows the drink to stay cool while holding. Size: 4 to 6 ounces

Read more history here:


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Latino Films this Weekend

In the Pit aka En el hoyo


Literally and existentially down and dirty, “In the Pit” is an absorbing documentary about work and the transformation of men into laborers. Directed and shot with sensitive attention to detail by Juan Carlos Rulfo, the film takes us into a world apart, populated by members of the construction crew building the second deck of the Periférico beltway in Mexico City. For the city’s inhabitants, each of whom apparently spend an estimated 1,485 hours a year commuting, and mostly on public transportation, the construction is at once a nuisance and a possible solution.

For the most part, like construction sites everywhere, it is also hidden in plain sight. Mr. Rulfo takes a distinctly personal approach to his subject, eschewing issues of public policy, environmental impact or even much by way of factual information or history about the beltway. — Manohla Dargis , The New York Times


East of Havana


So much of American pop thrives on a bratty facsimile of courage that when you see the real deal, it's a revelation. "East of Havana" is the real deal. Directed by Jauretsi Saizarbitoria and Emilia Menocal, it's a nonfiction feature about young Cuban rappers exercising the artist's prerogative to tell the truth in a country that muzzles free speech.

Although the film is set in 2004 during the weeklong run-up to the International Festival of Rap Cubano and in the shadow of Hurricane Charley, there's no phony urgency. The filmmakers are mainly interested in hearing the music and learning about the musicians' compelling personal stories. — Matt Zoller Seitz, The New York Times

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