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July 2012 Archives

Hell or High Water.jpg

Dear Readers-- My good friend and colleague, Joy Castro, will be having her launch party and reading from her novel Hell or High Water this Tuesday at 6p.m. at Indigo Bridge Books (701 P Street in the Creamery Building in The Haymarket).  Time: 6p.m.  Date:  Tuesday, July 17, 2012.  If you are in Lincoln, Nebraska-- come join the celebration!

I spent time with Joy Castro last week, interviewing her on the writing of her thriller, how themes of identity and searching for place figure prominently in the novel.  It's a wonderful read and I invite you to click here to read the entire interview we did together, posted today on La Bloga (click here!).

My interview with Joy is also part of one of my chapters on Latina writers who are either writing "from" the Midwest or were born and raised in the Midwest. In Chicana and U.S. Latina scholarship, what is often discussed is identity that is either lost, recovered, or in constant flux of creation/re-creation.  Often the discussions tend toward the theoretical (leaning to Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera).  What I'm doing in this scholarly book is to look much more closely at writers who claim a U.S. Latina identity, to view the complex details of identity which make it such an individualized space (like a thumbprint), and the monumental challenges inherent in creating an identity in a country that seeks to place a packaged identity upon all of us.  

In Hell or High Water, the narrator, Nola Soledad Céspedes, has mere fragments of memory, of her mother's stories, a map of Cuba, and disparate objects from which to cull an identity, from which to understand and make sense of her class standing and her movement in the world with those who come from upper class backgrounds. Included, of course, are the effects of trauma. Joy's expert hand at description, at character development and dialogue make for a compelling novel.  Can't wait to also have her second novel out too (next year!).  

Thank you Joy!  See you all (hopefully) on Tuesday at Indigo Bridge Books!
And don't forget to read the "La Bloga" interview with Joy (Click Here).