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Ambientes Cover

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Ambientes

New Queer Latino Writing

Lázaro Lima

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.”

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The American Café

Sara Sue Hoklotubbe

When Sadie Walela decides to pursue her childhood dream of owning a restaurant, she has no idea that murder will be on the menu.

In this second book in the Sadie Walela series, set in the heart of the Cherokee Nation, Sadie discovers life as an entrepreneur is not as easy as she anticipated. On her first day, she is threatened by the town’s resident "crazy" woman and the former owner of The American Café turns up dead, engulfing the café – and Sadie herself – in a cloud of suspicion and unanswered questions.

Drawing on the intuition and perseverance of her Cherokee ancestry, Sadie is determined to get some answers when an old friend unexpectedly turns up to lend a hand. A diverse cast of characters, including a mysterious Creek Indian, a corrupt police chief, an angry Marine home from Iraq, and the victim’s grieving sister and alcoholic niece, all come together to create a multilayered story of denial and deceit.

While striving to untangle relationships and old family secrets, Sadie ends up unraveling far more than a murder.

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The American Diary of a Japanese Girl

An Annotated Edition

Edward Marx

The first American novel by a writer of Japanese ancestry, The American Diary of a Japanese Girl is a landmark of modern American fiction and Japanese American transnationalism. First published in 1902, Yone Noguchi's novel describes the turn-of-the-century adventures of Tokyo belle Miss Morning Glory in a first-person narrative that The New York Times called "perfectly ingenuous and unconventional." Initially published as an authentic journal, the Diary was later revealed to be a playful autobiographical fiction written by a man. No less than her creator, Miss Morning Glory delights in disguises, unabashedly switching gender, class, and ethnic roles. Targeting the American fantasy of Madame Butterfly, Noguchi's New Woman heroine prays for "something more decent than a marriage offer," and freely dispenses her insights on Japanese culture and American lifestyles. With the addition of perceptive critical commentary and comprehensive notes, this first annotated edition sheds new light on the creative inventiveness of an important modernist writer.

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An American Hometown

Terre Haute, Indiana, 1927

Tom Roznowski. Foreword by Scott Russell Sanders

They lived "green" out of necessity -- walking to work, repairing everything from worn shoes to wristwatches, recycling milk bottles and packing containers. Music was largely heard live and most residential streets had shade trees. The nearby Wabash River -- a repeated subject of story and song -- transported Sunday picnickers to public parks. In the form of an old-fashioned city directory, An American Hometown celebrates a bygone American era, focusing on life in 1920s Terre Haute, Indiana. With artfully drawn biographical sketches and generously illustrated histories, noted musician, historian, and storyteller Tom Roznowski not only evokes a beauty worth remembering, but also brings to light just how many of our modern ideas of sustainable living are deeply rooted in the American tradition.

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American Salvage

Bonnie Jo Campbell

A lush and rowdy collection of stories set in a rural Michigan landscape, where wildlife, jobs, and ways of life are vanishing.

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The American Sun & Wind Moving Picture Company

Jay Neugeboren

The American Sun & Wind Moving Picture Company is an enchanting tale set in the silent film era.  Beginning in 1915, in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where a Jewish family makes one and two reel silent films, the novel is composed of six chapters, each a discrete silent film in itself.

Joey, the too-beautiful-to-be-a-boy son of moviemaker, Simon, and his actress wife, Hannah, imagines stories that his uncle’s camera turns into scenes for their movies. Witness to and participant in the rapid technological advances in film, from the movies his family makes, to the advent of the talkies, Joey is cast in both male and female roles, onstage and off.  When the woman Joey loves murders her abusive husband and sends Joey from his New Jersey family disguised as the mother of her own children, he embarks on a cross-country journey of adventure and hardship, crossing paths with the likes of D. W. Griffith, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, and “Roxy” Rothafel.  Finally, reunited on the opposite coast with his uncle, and with the woman he has never stopped loving, Joey’s wild journey—and life!—arrive at a moment as unpredictable as it is magical.

In an outrageously original tale worthy of a studio whose moguls might have been Kafka, Garcia Marquez, and Isaac Bashevis Singer, reality and illusion merge and separate, leaving the audience spellbound even after the final curtain falls.

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An American Tune

A Novel

Barbara Shoup

While reluctantly accompanying her husband and daughter to freshman orientation at Indiana University, Nora Quillen hears someone call her name, a name she has not heard in more than 25 years. Not even her husband knows that back in the '60s she was Jane Barth, a student deeply involved in the antiwar movement. An American Tune moves back and forth in time, telling the story of Jane, a girl from a working-class family who fled town after she was complicit in a deadly bombing, and Nora, the woman she became, a wife and mother living a quiet life in northern Michigan. An achingly poignant account of a family crushed under the weight of suppressed truths, An American Tune illuminates the irrevocability of our choices and how those choices come to compose the tune of our lives.

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Another Governess / The Least Blacksmith

A Diptych

Stark and vibrant, the two halves of this sutured book expose the Frankenstein-like scars of the assemblage we call “human.”
 
In “Another Governess” a woman in a decaying manor tries to piece together her own story. In “The Least Blacksmith” a man cannot help but fail his older brother as they struggle to run their father’s forge. 
 
Each of the stories stands alone, sharing neither characters nor settings. But together, they ask the same question: What are the wages of being? The relentless darkness of these tales is punctured by hope—the violent hope of the speaking subject.

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Anteaters Don't Dream and Other Stories

Louise Hawes

In Anteaters Don't Dream and Other Stories, Louise Hawes deftly portrays lovers at the end of their patience, marriages on the verge of decline, children reeling from abuse, and parents devastated by loss.

But many of these stories have a sardonic, humorous edge as well: in the title story, a jaded architect learns to take his dream life more seriously when a female co-worker threatens his career. In "Mr. Mix Up," a mother becomes infatuated with the clown at her son's birthday party. In "My Last Indian," a menopausal woman goes native. And in "Salinger's Mistress," a young woman lies about having an affair with J. D. Salinger. . . until Salinger himself calls her on the phone!

Whether Hawes's protagonists are rich or poor, male or female, young or old, their voices are convincing, varied, and human. With equal portions of wit and pathos, Anteaters Don't Dream and Other Stories is a versatile collection by a remarkable prose stylist.

Louise Hawes is a writer and teacher based in Pittsboro, North Carolina. She is the author of The Vanishing Point, Rosey in the Present Tense, and other novels.

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Apalachee

Joyce Rockwood Hudson

This powerful novel tells the story of Hinachuba Lucia, a Native American wise woman caught in the rapidly changing world of the early colonial South. With compelling drama and historical accuracy, Apalachee portrays the decimation of the Indian mission culture of Spanish Florida by English Carolina during Queen Anne's war at the beginning of the eighteenth century and also portrays the little-known institution of Indian slavery in colonial America. The novel recounts the beginnings of the colony of South Carolina and the struggle between the colonists and the Indians, who were at first trading partners—bartering deerskins and Indian slaves for guns and cloth—and then enemies in the Yamasee War of 1715.

When the novel opens, Spanish missionaries have settled in the Apalachee homeland on what is now the eastern Florida panhandle, ravaging the native population with disease and altering its culture with Christianity. Despite these changes, the Apalachees maintain an uneasy coexistence with the friars.

Everything changes when English soldiers and their Indian allies from the colony of Carolina invade Spanish Florida. After being driven from her Apalachee homeland by the English, Lucia is captured by Creek Indians and sold into slavery in Carolina, where she becomes a house slave at Fairmeadow, a turpentine plantation near Charles Town. Her beloved husband, Carlos, is left behind, free but helpless to get Lucia back.

Swept by intricate and inexorable currents, Lucia's fate is interwoven with those of Juan de Villalva, a Spanish mission priest, and Isaac Bull, an Englishman in search of fortune in the New World. As the three lives unfold, the reader is drawn into a morally complex world where cultures meet and often clash.

Both major and minor characters come alive in Hudson's hands, but none so memorably as the wise woman Lucia—beautiful, aristocratic, and strong. Informed by the author's extensive research, Apalachee is an ambitious, compelling novel that tells us as much about the ethnic and social diversity of the southern colonies as it does about the human heart.

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