FEBRUARY 1—MAY 15, 2007
HECHO EN TEJAS:
An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature
SOUTHWESTERN WRITERS COLLECTION
Edited by Dagoberto Gilb
Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series
Published by the University of New Mexico Press
Discussions, readings, and performances featuring Sandra Cisneros and Dagoberto Gilb plus special guests on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10.
The Southwestern Writers Collection (SWWC) at Texas State University-San Marcos is pleased to announce the publication of the newest volume in its book series, Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature, a historic benchmark that establishes the canon of Mexican American literature in Texas. The celebratory book launch at the SWWC on Saturday, February 10, will include discussions, readings, and performances from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (schedule below), and an exhibit focused on the Mexican American experience in Texas and the anthologized authors.
The Lone Star State’s literature has long attracted local, regional, and national audiences and critics; however, the state’s Mexican American voices have yet to receive the attention they deserve. In recognition of this, SWWC Curator Connie Todd and Assistant Curator Steve Davis invited award-winning author Dagoberto Gilb to edit the first-ever anthology of works by Mexican American writers from Texas.
With close to one hundred selections, Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature reaches back to the sixteenth century to begin with the exploration narrative of Texas’s first Spanish-speaking writer, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca.
More histories and stories are told by a timeline of prose writers, including Jovita González, Américo Paredes, Rolando Hinojosa, Tomás Rivera, and Sandra Cisneros. Among the poets are Tino Villanueva, Carmen Tafolla, raúlrsalinas, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and Ricardo Sánchez. Corridos from the turn of the twentieth century and verses sung by music legends such as Lydia Mendoza, Freddy Fender, and Selena offer a sampling of songwriters’ voices. In addition to established names, Hecho en Tejas introduces such younger writers as Christine Granados, Macarena del Rocio Hernández, Tony Díaz, and Sheryl Luna, the famous Tejano authors of tomorrow.
Twenty full-color images representing the work of leading Texas Mexican artists provide additional insight into the culture highlighted by the literature, and dozens of vintage photos from the 1930s, taken by photographer Gregorio Barrios, Sr., offer intimate portraits of the Texas Mexican community during a pivotal period of its history.
In assembling this canonic reader, Gilb has created more than an anthology. Read cover to cover, Hecho en Tejas is not simply a literary showcase, but a mosaic portrait of a community. “What I have tried to do,” Gilb says in the introduction, “is make Hecho en Tejas a strong, good read. Not simply as an anthology, a collection of different writers and styles, but as a book with chapters, so that all the voices might form one story, from one family’s history…as the book puzzles forward, each piece connecting land to history, sorrow to joy, to what is Mexican, to what is American, what is assimilated, what cannot be.”
Books will be for sale at the SWWC’s February 10 event, and can be purchased through major booksellers or the University of New Mexico Press at www.unmpress.com. (7” x 10”, 544 pages, 30 color plates, numerous halftones, $29.95, hardcover)
The Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series Editor is Curator Connie Todd; the Volume Editor is Assistant Curator Steve Davis. Additional funding for the anthology and book launch provided by the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, Texas State’s Office of Equity and Access, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and private donors.
Dagoberto Gilb’s books include The Magic of Blood, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a PEN Faulkner finalist. His novel The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña was named a New York Times Notable Book, and Woodcuts of Women earned rave reviews. For Gritos, his collection of nonfiction essays, Gilb was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His short stories and essays have been widely anthologized, not least in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays series, as well as appearing in magazines such as The New Yorker and Harper’s. His latest novel, The Flowers, is due out in the fall of 2007. A union high-rise carpenter for many years, Gilb has also been a visiting writer at the University of Texas, the University of Arizona, the University of Wyoming, and Vassar. He currently is on the faculty of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Texas State University, in San Marcos, Texas. He lives in Austin.
HECHO EN TEJAS ON EXHIBIT
The Southwestern Writers Collection Spring 2007 exhibition highlights the new anthology with a comprehensive selection of books, photographs, and literary excerpts reflecting the Mexican American experience in Texas as seen in Hecho en Tejas—including the Collection’s rare 1555 edition of Cabeza de Vaca’s La relación y comentarios—plus biographical information on many of the authors. The exhibit runs February 1 through May 15, 2007.
BOOK LAUNCH | SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2007
Sandra Cisneros and Dagoberto Gilb joined by special guests
The Southwestern Writers Collection celebrates the new book with an exciting day full of discussions, readings, book signings, and performances—lunch included. Special guests Sandra Cisneros and Dagoberto Gilb will be joined by Conjunto Aztlán, Tony Díaz, Christine Granados, Rolando Hinojosa, Santiago Jiménez, Jr., Sheryl Luna, Arturo Madrid, Macarena del Rocio Hernández, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, raúlrsalinas, and Carmen Tafolla.
The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (512) 245-2313. The SWWC is located on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State University-San Marcos. Access directions online at www.swwc.txstate.edu. Books will be for sale at the event courtesy of Texas State University Bookstore. (7"x 10", 544 pages, 30 color plates, numerous halftones, $29.95, hardcover)
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS | FEBRUARY 10, 2007
10:00 am – 11:30 am
Morning Panel Discussion
Sheryl Luna, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, raúlrsalinas,
and Carmen Tafolla | moderated by Tony Díaz
11:30 am – 1:00 pm Lunch and Exhibit Viewing
12:00 noon Performance by Conjunto Aztlán
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Afternoon Panel Discussion
Sandra Cisneros, Dagoberto Gilb, Christine Granados, and
Macarena del Rocio Hernández | moderated by Arturo Madrid
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Remarks and Readings by Dagoberto Gilb and
Sandra Cisneros | introductions by Rolando Hinojosa
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Book signing with the guest authors
Performance by Santiago Jiménez, Jr.
Southwestern Writers Collection
Alkek Library Seventh Floor
Texas State University-San Marcos
Directions & event calendar: www.swwc.txstate.edu
EXHIBIT HOURS (closed holidays)
Mon/Tue/Fri: 8 am to 5 pm
Wed/Thu: 8 am to 7 pm
Sat: 9 am to 5 pm
Sun: 2 pm to 6 pm
Admission is FREE