Saturday, December 11, 2004

La Bloga

La Bloga

Saturday, December 13

How do we know what's happenin', re: Chicana/o Lit (Chicano Culture in general)? There are some trying to get the word out: Pluma Fronteriza, Clyde Torres Webones Newsletter, La Clicka Newsletter. And that's all good. And such discussion certainly happens in all those Chicano Studies classes around the country, no? Blogs offer another avenue--and La Bloga wants to do its part. Give it to us. Events, new books, reviews, articles, artwork, awards, music, whatever. It's about art, ese.
In that spirit, dig this:
"Guerrilla leader, writer collaborate on crime novel
Associated Press
December 9, 2004
MEXICO CITY -- Only two weeks ago, a Mexican novelist got a clandestine message from Zapatista rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos. The proposal: Let's write a crime story together.
The writer, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, accepted the unusual offer, and within days, the first installment of ``The Awkward Dead'' was published by the leftist daily La Jornada.

Judging by the first chapter, which appeared Sunday, the novel is based loosely on Marcos' true story: a professor-turned-guerrilla who led a 1994 uprising in the name of Indian rights and continues to champion a quieter social revolution from his hideout in the jungles of southern Chiapas state.

Marcos is writing Chapters 1, 3 and 5, which will revolve around a Chiapas-based Zapatista investigator named Elias Contreras. Taibo will take Chapters 2, 4 and 6, and will focus on the Mexico City exploits of Detective Hector Belascoaran Shayne, the protagonist in past Taibo novels.

In Chapter 7, the characters will meet at the Revolution Monument in Mexico City and begin a joint investigation. Neither author yet knows how the tale will end - each chapter is spun off the preceding one.

Taibo and Marcos have contracts to publish ``The Awkward Dead'' in book form throughout the Spanish-speaking world and in Italy. It also will appear in Spanish in the United States, where negotiations are under way for an English version.

Taibo has said the authors will give the proceeds to a non-governmental organization that works in Chiapas. The group has yet to be chosen.

A leftist who is sympathetic to the Zapatistas, Taibo has never met Marcos face to face and is evasive when asked how they communicate. The author insists the subcomandante did not reveal any ulterior motive for the project.

``Our pact is based on the idea that we are going to write a novel together,'' Taibo said by telephone. ``We all know that it will not be an innocent novel.'' The book will ``criticize certain realities that exist both in the mountains (of Chiapas) and in the urban world of Mexico City,'' Taibo said."

Read more of the AP story.

Taibo is one of the best. Not only is he a clever, prolific writer (dozens of novels, many translated to English), for several years he has pulled off Semana Negra, the ultimate festival for la novela negra. In February, 2005, Taibo will be the International Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime 15, in El Paso, TX. Now, that should be a party.

How about this bit? Mario Acevedo's "The Nymphos of Rocky Flats", "X-Rated Bloodsuckers" and an untitled third novel, featuring Latino Vampire Private Detective Felix Gomez have been sold to Rayo Publishing in what is described as a "very nice deal". Latino vampires and private dicks! Who knew?

There's a new book from Malaquias Montoya, a leading figure in West Coast political (Chicano) graphic arts. Premeditated: Meditations on Capital Punishment, Recent Works by Malaquias Montoya is a book/exhibition catalogue and it features recently created silkscreen images and paintings, and related research dealing with the death penalty and pintos. Sixty percent of the proceeds from the sale of the catalogue will benefit organizations actively working to abolish the death penalty. Contact Lezlie-Salkowitz-Montoya,