Patricia Santana Honored with Premio Aztlán for Ghosts of El Grullo
The National Latinos Writers Conference and the History & Literary program of the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) have recognized Patricia Santana as the winner of the 2008 Premio Aztlán Literary Prize for her novel, Ghosts of El Grullo. A national literary award established to encourage and reward emerging Chicana and Chicano authors, the Premio Aztlán was founded by renowned author Rudolfo Anaya and his wife Patricia in 1993.
As winner of the Premio Aztlán, Santana receives $1,000 and will give a public lecture during the National Latinos Writers Conference, held at the NHCC in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 21-23, 2009.
In Ghosts of El Grullo, Yolanda Sahagún is a clever young woman who finds the symbolism in life’s smallest acts and events. She escapes into the world of literature—The Canterbury Tales or stories from Mexican countryman Juan Rulfo—when family dramas heat up, and they often do in a household of nine children overseen by an erratic father and a mother almost too sweet to be true.
Yolanda strives to shape her own identity: as a scholarship honoree at a Daughters of the American Revolution tea party in La Jolla, Yolanda feels out of place until her mother Dolores captivates even the stuffiest ladies with her family stories from the Mexican Revolution. The drive back to their little house in a Palm City immigrant neighborhood where eleven people share one bathroom reminds Yolanda of just how different her life is from the high society ladies of La Jolla and later, from her college peers at UC-San Diego.
When Dolores dies of gallbladder cancer during her freshman year of college, Yolanda’s struggles reach greater magnitudes as her father decides to sell their family home and she and her sisters must care for the younger Sahagúns. She travels to El Grullo, Jalisco, the Mexican village where her parents grew up, and there her subconscious mingles with the ghosts of her family’s past as Yolanda searches for answers and a path from which to navigate family, love, and her higher education.
Santana is chair of the foreign languages department and professor of Spanish at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, California. Her book Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility (UNM Press) won the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize and was an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. Ghosts of El Grullo is a sequel to Patricia Santana’s critically acclaimed first novel Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility.
The book is available at bookstores or from UNM Press: (800) 249-7737 or UNM Press.
Archive for the ‘UNM Press’ Category
Friday, April 24th from 5-9pm: UNM Press authors Nasario Garcia, Gloria Zamora, Melody Groves, Pari Noskin Taichert, Ana Baca, Cristina and Armando Ortega, Susan Gardner, Jason Yurcic, and Marianne Broyles read from and sign their books as part of Old Town’s Second Annual International Day of the Books. The readings and signings will take place in Old Town Plaza in Albuquerque, NM.
For the most part, I’ve chosen to remain positive about the current state of the economy– it’s not that I am naive. I’ve been through recessions and layoffs before. Been laid off twice myself. It’s not fun. But the fact is that eventually we come though these things. I don’t have any answers, but the more we know, the more we can prepare ourselves or come up with creative solutions.
I wanted to share this news here because it is important. We all know the publishing industry is changing. Print may not be dead, but in some ways it’s on life support. Small presses are struggling and as writers this affects us greatly. For many of us, small presses like the University of New Mexico Press are our first line of publication. And for the university the UNM Press brings a certain amount of prestige— sure it’s no football team, but isn’t having the UNM name stamped on quality literature the kind of noteriety a university should be proud of?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALBUQUERQUE—Despite months of budget-cutting and assurances from upper management that jobs were not in jeopardy, employees of UNM Press were left stunned yesterday by announcements of layoffs and possible outsourcing of their jobs.
And some other good things about the UNM Creative Writing Program.
From UNM Today:
Soon after first year M.F.A. student Tanaya Winder came to UNM this semester, she told Julie Shigekuni, new director of the creative writing program, about a Stanford program called the Levinthal Tutorials that helped her prepare for graduate school. Winder’s suggestion led to the creation of the Russo Tutorials, an independent study pairing creative writing graduate students with seniors who are developing a portfolio and graduate school application.
M.F.A. student Valerie Santillanes will participate in the tutorials next semester. In her final year, Santillanes said she wants to pass on the mentorship she received. “Having someone that believed I could do it made me believe I could do it,” she said. “It’s exciting to think I could be that for somebody.”
She’s also excited about a new retreat for graduate students that will be held at Ghost Ranch during intercession so they can work intensively on their dissertations. Santillanes said it will be great to go somewhere without distractions and concentrate on writing.
While acknowledging the UNM creative writing program has had a controversial year with serious issues to be resolved, these students are bringing new ideas and energy to help the program live and grow.
Weaving Women at the UNM Bookstore
WHEN? 2 pm, Thursday, November 6th
Louise Lamphere discusses and signs Weaving Women’s Lives: Three Generations in a Navajo Family at the University of New Mexico Bookstore in Albuquerque, NM.