Monday, May 14, 2012


Starting a New Series for Multiple Blog Sites:
Reviews of Pioneering American Latina Authors

Last month, at the invitation of Jesus Trevino, outstanding author and host/writer of the esteemed blog ( ), I began writing book reviews of modern American Latina authors who are now regarded as "pioneers" in modern American Latino/a literature. My intent is to write one book review per month for a 12-month period. These reviews are aimed for and may be posted on La Bloga as well ( as on my site here.

In choosing the Latina authors for this series, Jesus and I collaborated, starting with his recommendations. Then I reviewed lists of Latina winners of the famed American Book Awards beginning in the 1960's and checked other prestigious national awards given in the United States. Almost all of the women in this series received the American Book Award, with a couple of them winning other major awards instead. I shared this list with Jesus, and we agreed on the 12 books to consider. In the spirit of modern "pioneers," we also limited our list to the time period spanning the 1970's-1990's, when the impact of Latinas publishing in English began in earnest, prior to the year 2000. The reviews will be presented in chronological order according to the books' publication dates.

The selected group of pioneer Latinas represents various genre: short fiction, novels, poetry, and nonfiction. Geographically, the authors come from across the United States: the Northeast, Southwest, the West, and other parts of our nation. All these women have one very important commonality: They blazed trails in bringing the Latina voice to the tapestry of our evolving Latino literature in the modern era. They have thus enriched our literature and expanded our horizons of human understanding. These women are artists in the greatest sense of the word.

It is Jesus' hope, as well as my own, that--after this series of pioneeer Latina authors--the spotlight can shift to contemporary American Latina authors; for, as the years pass, the list of top writers continues to expand. Book reviewing is fun and enriching for a number of reasons, and I hope to share my enjoyment with you.

The first of the series was published last month (see below): Nicholasa Mohr's autobiographical novel, Nilda (1974). The second book review will be posted soon: Estela Portillo Trambley's Rain of Scorpions and Other Writings (1975). All the reviews will appear first on, then possibly on La Bloga, then definitely on this blog. Thanks so much for tuning in each month.