I decided to conduct an experiment at my recent trip to Barnes and Noble and see what Latin@ authors are prominently displayed. By prominently displayed, I mean that the books were placed face up on a table of featured books or had their cover displayed on a bookcase where the other books are primarily displayed with the spines facing out. My analysis: More than I expected for a bookstore in Alabama. The authors are the major ones, but I’ve heard that in order for your book to be featured in a big-box bookstore, it basically has to be a bestseller and your publisher has to make arrangements. There was one pitiful shelf on the “Cultural Studies” bookcase, which carried about 11 books by or about Latin@s, pretty outdated, alongside an equally dismal selection for LGBTQ, social studies, Native American, and African American books. Anyway, this is going to be a photo post – see below for the results:
Gloria Estefan Wepa! :: This song is great! Even my 9-month-old loves to dance to it!
Interview with Hector Tobar on new novel :: via KCRW – This is an interview on Tobar’s new novel, The Barbarian Nurseries.
Amazon Kindle Fire :: via Engadget – I haven’t been able to let go of physical books yet, but I’m tempted to with the Kindle Fire (although I wonder if the tablet would be just another device to feed my Facebook addiction?)
We the Animals review :: via the New York Times – NYT review on Justin Torres’s first novel. The plot seems very interesting.
Have a FABULOUS weekend!
I live in Alabama, a state that passed the harshest anti-immigration law recently. It was challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice, various church leaders and civil rights groups. Today, a judge finally made a decision on the challenges and shockingly ordered that most of the law should go into effect after previously enjoining the law (temporarily stopping it so it won’t go into effect). Here’s a summary of my understanding of the ruling, as the local coverage is slightly confusing.
This is what is changing:
*Contracts knowingly entered into with undocumented workers will be nullified
*It is a felony for an undocumented worker to apply for a license plate, driver’s license, or business license
*Law enforcement must determine immigration status during traffic stops
*Drivers must produce their license; if they don’t and the officer can’t verify they have a valid license, they will be arrested. Law enforcement then has 48 hours to determine citizenship through federal agencies; if the person is undocumented “the person shall be considered a flight risk and shall be detained until prosecution or until handed over to federal immigration authorities.”
These parts didn’t go into effect:
*The state cannot stop workers without authorization from seeking employment.
*The state cannot prosecute those who help undocumented workers.
*The state cannot stop businesses from deducting the wages they pay to unauthorized workers.
*The state cannot create a new class of protected workers (the law sought to punish employers who either don’t hire or fire citizens or authorized workers while also employing an undocumented worker).
*The state cannot bar undocumented workers from enrolling in public universities.
A press release from the driver’s license division forwarded to me indicates that a system called AlVerify will be used in verifying whether a person is here legally in processing license tag renewals.
It is my understanding, though local coverage didn’t mention anything, that businesses will now be required to use E-verify for new employees.I actually went to a meeting with a representative of the DOJ (I do volunteer work here for the Hispanic community) and he clarified that E-verify should only be used for new workers – if it is used on existing workers, they should notify the DOJ of discrimination.
Local businesses and farmers are already complaining of not having enough workers to plant spring crops, and probably won’t have the manpower to harvest them in the springtime, either.
I’m a little too shocked and angry about this to editorialize right now, so I’m just giving you the facts. Que barbara!
Author Sandra Cisneros (one of my favorites!) will be featured on The Latino List, an HBO documentary featuring successful Latinos today, September 28 and 29, 2011. The list does include several actors and music stars, but I was pleased to see at least one author (Cisneros) and several other non-celebrities! ¡Que orgullo! Check it out here.no comments