We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Spilling the Beans in Chicanolandia

Conversations with Writers and Artists

By Frederick Luis Aldama

Publication Year: 2006

Since the 1980s, a prolific “second wave” of Chicano/a writers and artists has tremendously expanded the range of genres and subject matter in Chicano/a literature and art. Building on the pioneering work of their predecessors, whose artistic creations were often tied to political activism and the civil rights struggle, today's Chicano/a writers and artists feel free to focus as much on the aesthetic quality of their work as on its social content. They use novels, short stories, poetry, drama, documentary films, and comic books to shape the raw materials of life into art objects that cause us to participate empathetically in an increasingly complex Chicano/a identity and experience. This book presents far-ranging interviews with twenty-one “second wave” Chicano/a poets, fiction writers, dramatists, documentary filmmakers, and playwrights. Some are mainstream, widely recognized creators, while others work from the margins because of their sexual orientations or their controversial positions. Frederick Luis Aldama draws out the artists and authors on both the aesthetic and the sociopolitical concerns that animate their work. Their conversations delve into such areas as how the artists' or writers' life experiences have molded their work, why they choose to work in certain genres and how they have transformed them, what it means to be Chicano/a in today's pluralistic society, and how Chicano/a identity influences and is influenced by contact with ethnic and racial identities from around the world.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (59.6 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (37.9 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (44.9 KB)
pp. vi

I wish to acknowledge but a few of the many scholars who have supported my own work over the years: Henry Abelove, Robert Alter, Chadwick Allen, Mary Pat Brady, Herbie Lindenberger, John Christie, Susann Cokal...

read more

Introducing a Second Wave of Chicano/a Visual/Verbal Artists

pdf iconDownload PDF (183.0 KB)
pp. 1

Juan Bruce-Novoa’s Chicano Authors: Inquiry by Interview, which identified a first wave of post–1960s/1970s writers, was followed by a deluge of new Chicano/a voices. Today, Chicano/a visual and verbal artists—novelists,...

read more

Francisco X. Alarc

pdf iconDownload PDF (113.6 KB)
pp. 37-51

In 1954 Francisco X. Alarcón was born in Wilmington, California. This small agricultural town would not be his final destination, however. As he grew up, he and his family moved back and forth across the U.S.–...

read more

Alfred Arteaga

pdf iconDownload PDF (96.8 KB)
pp. 53-68

Alfred Arteaga was born in 1950 and was raised mostly by his mother in East Los Angeles. At a young age, he discovered he had a keen ear for poetic rhythms and lyrical lines, so as soon as he had the means, he took up the guitar. He started playing in a band in his teens. In the late 1960s, Arteaga put his musical career on the back burner to turn...

read more

Ricardo Bracho

pdf iconDownload PDF (82.3 KB)
pp. 69-78

Born July 18, 1969, in Mexico City, Ricardo Bracho was swiftly transplanted to Los Angeles—the city where he would grow up, come into his Chicano sensibility, and become a successful playwright. Raised in the multi-classed and multiracial West L.A. of the...

read more

Denise Ch

pdf iconDownload PDF (103.4 KB)
pp. 79-94

Born in 1948 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Denise Chávez grew up swaddled in her mother’s vibrant stories of family adventures along the U.S.–Mexico border. At an early age, Chávez found herself drawn to storytelling. As a young girl, to better understand her aches...

read more

Lucha Corpi

pdf iconDownload PDF (89.2 KB)
pp. 95-106

Born in 1945 in J

read more

Dagoberto Gilb

pdf iconDownload PDF (85.0 KB)
pp. 107-118

Dagoberto Gilb was born in Los Angeles in 1950 and was raised by his Mexican single mother. In high school, he worked in an industrial laundry, in a warehouse as a shipping clerk, and as a graveyard shift janitor. During college, he worked as a stock boy and a salesman...

read more

Jaime Hernandez (of Los Bros Hernandez)

pdf iconDownload PDF (82.7 KB)
pp. 119-128

The Hernandez brothers, Jaime (born October 10, 1959) and Gilbert (born February 1, 1957) are from the farming community of Oxnard, California, where they were raised along with their older brother,...

read more

Juan Felipe Herrera

pdf iconDownload PDF (100.3 KB)
pp. 129-142

Juan Felipe Herrera was born in 1948 in a small farming town in California. Raised by parents who migrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, Herrera defi ed his farmworker destiny when, as an adolescent, he discovered a passion for music and a love of poetry....

read more

Richard Montoya (of Culture Clash)

pdf iconDownload PDF (77.0 KB)
pp. 143-152

Richard Montoya is one of the three performance artists who make up Culture Clash; the other two are Herbert Siguenza and Ric Salinas. Richard was born in San Diego on August 16, 1969, and raised in the Sacramento area of California. (Richard is the son of poet Jos

read more

Pat Mora

pdf iconDownload PDF (103.2 KB)
pp. 153-166

Born in 1942, Pat Mora grew up in El Paso hearing the stories told by her grandmother, her mother, and her Aunt Lobo. This storytelling matrilineage planted the seeds that would later blossom as Mora found her voice as a poet, memoirist, and children’s book author....

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (78.0 KB)
pp. 167-176


read more

Alejandro Morales

pdf iconDownload PDF (77.7 KB)
pp. 177-186

On October 14, 1944, Alejandro Morales was born in Montebello, California. Raised by first-generation Mexican

read more

Michael Nava

pdf iconDownload PDF (89.2 KB)
pp. 187-198

Michael Nava was born in 1954 in Stockton, California. His family soon moved to a barrio in Sacramento in search of employment and a better life. A precocious and sensitive child, Nava spent...

read more

Daniel Olivas

pdf iconDownload PDF (103.1 KB)
pp. 199-214

Daniel A. Olivas was born in Los Angeles on April 8, 1959. Along with his four siblings, Olivas was raised by fi rst-generation Mexican

read more

Cecile Pineda

pdf iconDownload PDF (97.9 KB)
pp. 215-226

In 1942 Cecile Pineda was born to a Swiss-French mother and a Mexican father. As a single child growing up in Harlem with largely absent parents (the father physically and the mother emotionally), she...

read more

Lourdes Portillo

pdf iconDownload PDF (77.6 KB)
pp. 227-234

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1944, Lourdes Portillo moved with her parents and four siblings to Los Angeles when she was thirteen. Her father worked as a newspaper administrator in Mexico, and Portillo was exposed from an early age to stories. As one of the oldest of her siblings, Portillo soon took on the role of family interpreter in

read more

Luis J. Rodr

pdf iconDownload PDF (104.7 KB)
pp. 235-250

Born in El Paso in 1954, Luis Rodr

read more

Benjamin Alire S

pdf iconDownload PDF (83.9 KB)
pp. 251-260

Benjamin (Ben) S

read more

Luis Alberto Urrea

pdf iconDownload PDF (97.7 KB)
pp. 261-276

Luis Urrea was born in Tijuana, Mexico, on August 20, 1955, and spent his early childhood there. After his father’s early death, he spent his remaining childhood and teenage years living with his mother in San Diego. Urrea learned to cope with the harsh realities of living in a San Diego...

read more

Alfredo V

pdf iconDownload PDF (76.7 KB)
pp. 277-286

In 1950 Alfredo V

read more

Alma Luz Villanueva

pdf iconDownload PDF (78.5 KB)
pp. 287-294

Alma Luz Villanueva was born on October 4, 1944, in Lompoc, California. Raised in San Francisco’s Mission District by her Yaqui maternal grandmother, Villanueva learned early of the trials and tribulations Mexican women face within a sexist and racist society...

E-ISBN-13: 9780292795938
E-ISBN-10: 0292795939
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292709676
Print-ISBN-10: 0292709676

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2006

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • American literature -- Mexican American authors -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc.
  • Mexican American authors -- Interviews.
  • Mexican Americans in literature.
  • Mexican American artists -- Interviews.
  • Mexican Americans -- Intellectual life.
  • Mexican American art.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access