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Ambientes

New Queer Latino Writing

Lázaro Lima

Publication Year: 2011

As the U.S. Latino population grows rapidly, and as the LGBTQ Latino community becomes more visible and a more crucial part of our literary and artistic heritage, there is an increasing demand for literature that successfully highlights these diverse lives. Edited by Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano, Ambientes is a revolutionary collection of fiction featuring stories by established authors as well as emerging voices that present a collective portrait of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience in America today. With a preface by Picano and an introduction by Lima that sets the stage for understanding Latino literary and cultural history, this is the first anthology to cross cultural and regional borders by offering a wide variety of urban, rural, East Coast, West Coast, and midwestern perspectives on Latina and Latino queers from different walks of life. Stories range from sensual pieces to comical romances and from inner-city dramas fueled by street language to portraits of gay domesticity, making this a much-needed collection for many different kinds of readers. The stories in this collection reflect a vibrant and creative community and redefine received notions of “gay” and “lesbian.”

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Editors’ Note: The Name of las Cosas

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pp. vii-viii

Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing seeks to provide a timely and representative archive of queer Latino literary and cultural memory in order to enact a more inclusive “American” literary canon that can apprehend the present and the future of queer Latino literary practice. We have assembled a diverse and representative sample of contemporary...

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

The two young men at the back of the library had been there early, and they dawdled after everyone else at my reading and talk had left. They’d been silent and attentive throughout, almost extra-alert, but now that they were standing before me they relaxed and they gushed. Among the things they said in their enthusiasm was this: “We’re so proud to have...

Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Introduction: Genealogies of Queer Latino Writing

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pp. 3-13

Latinos represent the largest “minority” group in the nation but they are the least represented in the nation’s institutions and the most disenfranchised in the public sphere.1 Yet the diverse groups we today refer to as “Latinos,” or people of Latin American ancestry living in the United States, have been in this country long before its founding after indepen-...

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Kimberle

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pp. 14-26

I have to be stopped,” Kimberle said. Her breath blurred her words, transmitting a whooshing sound that made me push the phone away. “Well, okay, maybe not have to—I’d say should—but that begs the question of why. I mean, who cares? So maybe what I really mean is I need to be stopped.” Her words slid one into the other, like buttery...

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Pandora’s Box

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pp. 27-44

I didn’t know Walker before this new life of mine. I only knew that he lived upstairs from my apartment in San Francisco. The city was not far from Redwood City, where I had been raised. However, for me to move there was like a Brazilian moving to China as far as cultural differences were concerned. ...

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Shorty

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pp. 45-56

I meet her at Julie’s. It’s Saturday night, and that means every tristate Puerto Rican lesbian is dancing salsa and having too many Coronas at Julie’s in Manhattan. I’ve always wondered about that club. I mean, how many Latinas do you know named Julie? Julissa, sure. Julia, yeah. ...

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Puti and the Gay Bandits of Hunts Point

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pp. 57-74

Puti sat in the window of her first-floor apartment facing the auto glass shops on Garrison Avenue. The South Bronx streets below her rumbled with people dealing, mothers pushing baby carriages, kids sucking on sweets, men inhaling, bibles thumping, and guys watching girls watching guys watching girls checking out girls with slick faces wearing clothes...

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Porcupine Love

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pp. 75-83

if they spy on me they will discover that i am loving you.
I want to fuck her via e-mail but the spam filters at my job won't let me. She suggests that I open another e-mail account, but I am a one-e-mail type of girl. She wants us to go to a chat room but I am not so high-tech. ...

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The Unequivocal Moon

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pp. 84-88

You’re still working on that?” he asks. “Still,” I reply, as I sip the margarita he just made for me. It’s my second one already, and he’s only been here for an hour. His wife knows that Ray is getting high with me. As usual, I’ll give up an evening of writing, he’ll give up three hours of sleep. Our occasional tête-à-tête (my word) is always a blast (his word),...

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Dear Rodney

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pp. 89-95

This summer promises to be our most adventurous. My available sister of sin, Leo, and I will be away just about every weekend and even had to pencil in our movie schedules. God forbid I actually start seriously dating anyone. They’ll only get dinner, rentals, and walks in the park from me—at least until the fall. And we all know how cold it gets in New...

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This Desire for Queer Survival

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pp. 96-111

I am one of those lucky gay men with a family most open to his life. My parents were probably ready to receive the official news about my gay self years before I came out to them, only months before completing my doctoral dissertation in 2001. I was thirty-one years old. ...

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La Fiesta de Los Linares

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pp. 112-125

The lanterns on the ground lit the faces of Los Linares as they told jokes and stories. They sat on overturned crates and old cane-bottom chairs. It was hot, and shirtsleeves were rolled back; some feet were bare. They had eaten already, and the relaxation of their mouths slack from chewing the good food allowed the stories to flow freely. ...

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Malverde

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pp. 126-136

Mom and Dad just got back from a trip to Mexico. They went because Abuelita’s not doing too good. It turns out she has dementia. It also turns out that, drumroll please, my cousin Miguelito works for the head of a Guadalajara drug cartel. ...

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Aqu

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pp. 137-143

Ana Roque got her Johnny Rocket, homey.”
Ana says this into the mirror, shooting her finger gun toward her chocolate-red reflection as she inspects the small skate-or-die volcanoes erupting hair gel on her scalp. ...

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Haunting Jos

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pp. 144-151

Don’t ask if I believe in ghosts. I refuse to, even as I lie here listening to the strange sounds coming from inside the walls. If this were my old apartment I’d dismiss the noises as the everyday chatter of an old kitchen: the overworked wires in the stove, the pipes beneath the sink, shrinking or expanding in response to the season, the refrigerator...

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Imitation of Selena

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pp. 152-158

The radio transmitted live updates from Corpus Christi, Texas, that warm March day in 1995: Selena, Tex-Mex singing star, had been shot. The Spanish-language TV channels interrupted regular programming to broadcast the standoff between Corpus Christi police and Yolanda Saldívar, Selena’s killer, the manager of the official Selena fan club, who...

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Magnetic Island Sue

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pp. 159-164

Te tengo que escribir mi sueño. A pesar de los cries—penetrantes, ghostly, badgering o hechizantes—de los pájaros, some of which seem to go on and on, far into the night (y uno de los cuales me despertó por un momento anoche, around 3 a.m.: an electrifying, piercing, mournful, downward-falling wail que me hizo pensar en el último plaintive, beyond-hope cry de Rima, when the Indians were burning down her tree with her in it, en la novela Green Mansions), I sleep well here. ...

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I Leave Tomorrow, I Come Back Yesterday

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pp. 165-177

If you come from Uptown by streetcar you get off at the last stop, just at Canal Street, near where people who have taken a bus named Desire transfer and go on to Cemeteries or Elysian Fields. But stay alert, because this area is full of scoundrels and souvenir shops, and you can easily get lost. Better if you go directly to the other end of the French...

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Six Days in St. Paul

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pp. 178-196

When we awoke Saturday morning it had snowed. Snow, in fact, was still falling, and as layer settled upon layer, it seemed another complication, or at least another possible complication, to my six days in St. Paul. Now, in addition to making decisions with Sil and Gerry, a process in which I was the third wheel, each diversion we had planned would...

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Arturo, Who Likes to Shave His Legs in the Snow

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pp. 196-200

Arturo at thirty-four years old filled out his bronze body with defined muscles. Despite his strength, he still had a delicate appearance, like one too beautiful to pick strawberries in the California heat—just like his abuela. El jefe, his pink cheeks glowing in the excitement of finding one so beautiful, took her hand as she prepared to jump down from the bed...

Contributors

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pp. 201-206


E-ISBN-13: 9780299282233
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299282240

Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Hispanic American gays -- Fiction.
  • Homosexuality in literature.
  • Gays' writings, American.
  • American fiction -- Hispanic American authors.
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