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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

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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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...

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

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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,...

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Francisco X. Alarc

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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.–...

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Alfred Arteaga

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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...

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Ricardo Bracho

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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...

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Denise Ch

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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...

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Lucha Corpi

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pp. 95-106

Born in 1945 in J

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Dagoberto Gilb

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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...

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Jaime Hernandez (of Los Bros Hernandez)

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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,...

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Juan Felipe Herrera

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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....

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Richard Montoya (of Culture Clash)

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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

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Pat Mora

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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....

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Cherr

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pp. 167-176

Cherr

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Alejandro Morales

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pp. 177-186

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

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Michael Nava

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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...

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Daniel Olivas

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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

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Cecile Pineda

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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...

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Lourdes Portillo

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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

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Luis J. Rodr

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pp. 235-250

Born in El Paso in 1954, Luis Rodr

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Benjamin Alire S

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pp. 251-260

Benjamin (Ben) S

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Luis Alberto Urrea

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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...

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Alfredo V

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pp. 277-286

In 1950 Alfredo V

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Alma Luz Villanueva

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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

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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.
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