“In Once I Was You, Maria shares her intimate experience growing up Mexican American on the south side of Chicago and documenting the existential wasteland of immigration detention camps for news outlets that often challenged her work. In these pages, she offers a personal and eye-opening account of how the rhetoric around immigration has not only long informed American attitudes toward outsiders, but also enabled willful negligence and profiteering at the expense of our country’s most vulnerable populations—charging us with the broken system we have today. Continue reading “NHCC Book Club: Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America”→
“The Wind That Lays Waste begins in the great pause before a storm. Reverend Pearson is evangelizing across the Argentinian countryside with Leni, his teenage daughter, when their car breaks down. This act of God or fate leads them to the workshop and home of an aging mechanic called Gringo Brauer and a young boy named Tapioca.
As a long day passes, curiosity and intrigue transform into an unexpected intimacy between four people: one man who believes deeply in God, morality, and his own righteousness, and another whose life experiences have only entrenched his moral relativism and mild apathy; a quietly earnest and idealistic mechanic’s assistant, and a restless, skeptical preacher’s daughter. As tensions between these characters ebb and flow, beliefs are questioned and allegiances are tested, until finally the growing storm breaks over the plains.
“It is 1898, and groups of starving Puerto Ricans, los hambrientos, roam the parched countryside and dusty towns begging for food. Under the yoke of Spanish oppression, the Caribbean island is forced to prepare to wage war with the United States. Up in the mountainous coffee region of Utuado, Vicente Vega and Valentina Sanchez labor to keep their small farm from the creditors. When the Spanish-American War and the great San Ciriaco Hurricane of 1899 bring devastating upheaval, the young couple is lured, along with thousands of other puertorriqueños, to the sugar plantations of Hawaii—another US territory—where they are confronted by the hollowness of America’s promises of prosperity. Writing in the tradition of great Latin American storytelling, Marisel Vera’s The Taste of Sugar is an unforgettable novel of love and endurance, and a timeless portrait of the reasons we leave home.” – Goodreads
The first-ever National Latinx Writers Gathering, “Sembrando y Soñando,” took place October 16-18, 2020. As a result of the new coronavirus, all weekend events were virtual. The first year of this unprecedented convening of Latinx writers emphasized community-building, connection, and experiential collaboration–determined by a national survey of Latinx writers who expressed what they want from a first conference of this kind. The first event will also determine the shape and content of annual Latinx convenings in the future–an undertaking we will co-create together.
The 2021 NLWG will take place October 14-17, 2021. Mark your calendars!
“From an award-winning storyteller comes a stunning debut novel about a New Mexican family’s extraordinary year of love and sacrifice.
The Five Wounds is a miraculous debut novel from a writer whose stories have been hailed as “legitimate masterpieces” (New York Times). Kirstin Valdez Quade conjures characters that will linger long after the final page, bringing to life their struggles to parent children they may not be equipped to save.” – Goodreads
“In the 1950s, tensions remain high in the border town of La Frontera. Penny loafers and sneakers clash with boots and huaraches. Bowling shirts and leather jackets compete with guayaberas. Convertibles fend with motorcycles. Yet amidst the discord, young love blooms at first sight between Fulgencio Ramirez, the son of impoverished immigrants, and Carolina Mendelssohn, the local pharmacist’s daughter. But as they’ll soon find out, their bonds will be undone by a force more powerful than they could have known.
“¡Mira! Nuestra Arquitectura: An Architectural Journey”
An architectural history of the NHCC, in celebration of our 20th anniversary.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the History and Literary Arts program presents “¡Mira! Nuestra Arquitectura: An Architectural Journey,” an architectural history of the Center’s past, present and future.
This virtual tour showcases the exhibit as it was presented in Spring of 2021 in the Bosque Gallery.
Take a look and stay tuned for how you can visit the exhibit in person again (coming August 13, 2021).
“Beginning where Luis Alberto Urrea’s bestselling The Hummingbird’s Daughter left off, Queen of America finds young Teresita Urrea, beloved healer and “Saint of Cabora,” with her father in 1892 Arizona. But, besieged by pilgrims in desperate need of her healing powers, and pursued by assassins, she has no choice but to flee the borderlands and embark on an extraordinary journey into the heart of turn-of-the-century America.
Teresita’s passage will take her to New York, San Francisco, and St. Louis, where she will encounter European royalty, Cuban poets, beauty queens, anxious immigrants and grand tycoons — and, among them, a man who will force Teresita to finally ask herself the ultimate question: is a saint allowed to fall in love?” – Goodreads.
“Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves—lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack—but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words.” – Goodreads.
The Inquisition is one of the most famous and infamous of religious courts in history.The reviled institution even had a presence in New Mexico during the colonial period. State Historian Rob Martinez presents a fascinating look at the history of the Inquisition in Europe, Spain and the Americas, with a focus on Mexico and New Mexico. Cases of heretical behavior reveal much about the social and religious practices and activities of people in the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s.