After reading and reviewing Seven for the Revolution, I was fortunate to also be able to interview the author, Rudy Ruiz.
Ruiz grew up in Brownsville, Texas, and learned English when he entered school. Ruiz began writing as a child and has always used his experiences on the U.S.-Mexico border and his heritage as inspiration. A Harvard graduate, Ruiz founded Interlex Communications and published ¡Adelante! in 2003 and Going Hungry in 2008. He has written columns for CNN and his own website, Red Brown and Blue. Seven for the Revolution, his fictional debut, garnered several awards from the 2014 Latino Book Awards: First Place in Best Popular Fiction, the Mariposa Award for Best First Book – Fiction, and Second Place for Most Inspirational Fiction Book and Honorable Mention for Best Cover.
Read on for the interview after the jump, as well as to find out how to win my review copy of Seven for the Revolution.
I have another article in the works, and a book or two I’m reading. In the meantime, I’m sitting here eating huevos con chorizo, tortillas de maiz, and my Nescafe (yay weekend!). Here’s some weekend reading to go with your breakfast:
Five Reasons to Stop Relaxing Your Daughter’s Hair :: via Latina magazine – My daughter has super curly (3c) hair, and it takes a lot of work to maintain those curls (maybe I’ll post a how-to?). At 3 years old she has already looked at her friends, and her dolls, and asked for “flat” hair. But she left that idea behind after we pointed out that her curly hair is sooo beautiful, people stop us everywhere to tell us how gorgeous it is and also to ask if it’s real. (What’s with the fake hair, people?)
Oscar Hijuelos novel to be published posthumously :: via Houston Chronicle – this will be published in fall 2015.
Lack of Latin@ characters addressed by San Diego author :: via KPBS San Diego – This story reports that less than 5 percent of children’s books feature African Americans, and EVEN LESS Latinos or other cultures. Check out this interview of Kevin Gerard, who self-published Diego’s Dragon, a fantasy featuring a Latino main character, and professor Phillip Serrato, regarding this lack of diversity. Sadly, the chart at the bottom shows that the number of diverse characters has only decreased in 2013.
Watch the trailer for Harvest of Empire:
If you are interested in the history of the U.S. meddling in Latin America, read Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism by Greg Grandin.
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: