Latin Twist

A Girl Like Che Guevara

By Teresa de la Caridad Doval

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Sixteen-year-old Lourdes is a dedicated and proud revolutionary who spends the summer of 1982, along with her peers, at the "School-in-the-Fields," tilling tobacco fields to prove her dedication to Fidel and the revolution.
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A Simple Habana Melody (From When the World Was Good)

By Oscar Hijuelos

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"It is 1947 and Israel Levis, a Cuban composer whose life had once been a dream of music, love and sadness, is returning to Habana, Cuba, from Spain, where he has just recovered from the physical and spiritual malaise resulting from his experiences in Paris, then Buchenwald, during the Nazi occupation of France. (A devout Catholic, Levis had been mistakenly identified as a Jew because of his name.)

"When Levis arrives back in Habana, after an absence of many years, his mind is reeling with beautiful memories of his life in Cuba and in Paris before the war, a life of pleasure and excitement that he owes, in part, to an unrequited, nearly 'chivalrous' romance with a certain Rita Valladares, a singer for whom Levis had written his most famous song, 'Rosas Puras,' or 'Pretty Roses.' This 1928 composition becomes the most famous rumba in the world and changes both American and European tastes in music and dance -- forever; and it is the song, symbolic of the composer's love for Rita Valladares, that sets Levis's life in Europe in motion. This is at once a love story -- for art, family and country -- as well as a portrait of Habana at the turn of the last century, when 'the world was good.'"

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And the Shadows Took Him

By Daniel Chacon

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Moving from the Fresno barrio to Oregon in an effort to climb up the socio-economic ladder, a Latino family learns that its ethnicity presents unexpected obstacles.

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Brownsville

By Oscar Casares

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At the country's edge, on the Mexican border, Brownsville, Texas, is a town much like many others. It is a place where men and women work hard to create better lives for their children, where people sometimes bear grudges against their neighbors, where love blossoms only to fade, and where the only real certainty is that life holds surprises.
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Captain Alatriste

By Arturo Pérez-Reverte

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A fictional 17th-century Spanish swordsman's instruction to frighten two travelers becomes a murder-for-hire arranged by Emilio Bocanegra, the name synonymous with the Spanish Inquisition. What happens next is only the first in a series of riveting twists and turns, with implications that will reverberate throughout the courts of Europe.
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Caramba! A Tale Told in Turns of the Card

By Nina Marie Martinez

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Welcome to Lava Landing, population 27,454, a town just this side of Mexico, where Miss Magma reigns and rockabilly and mariachi music are king. Enter our protagonists, Natalie and Consuelo, self-described “like-minded individuals.” They spend their days at The Big Cheese Plant and their nights at The Big Five-Four, the hottest spot in town. But they have long-term projects, foremost among them to cure Consuelo of her unreasonable fear of public transportation and long car rides so they can finally take Natalie’s 1963 Cadillac convertible on the road trip it deserves . . .

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Chango's Fire

By Ernesto Quiñonez

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Julio Santana is an arsonist. For a fee, Julio burns down buildings looked upon as unseemly by investors trying to transform the very face of the Spanish Harlem neighborhood he calls home. Julio has pocketed thousands of dollars from people who want to profit from the forced gentrification of his neighborhood, money he has used to make his parents proud by purchasing them a place of their own. By controlling the flow of those streaming into the neighborhood, the true power players behind this insurance scam have made a fortune.

So when Julio falls in love with Helen, a white woman who just moved into the neighborhood, he makes it his priority to stop setting his own neighborhood ablaze and enter into a life of clean, honest living. Little does he realize that his change for the good has angered his employers and promises to threaten Julio's life, along with the lives of everyone he loves.

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Geographies of Home

By Loida Maritza Perez

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"Iliana believed that by attending a college more than five hours from New York City, she could gain independence and escape the watchful eyes of her overprotective, religiously conservative parents. A disembodied voice that Iliana believes is her mother's haunts her nights with disturbing news about her sisters: Marina is careening toward a mental breakdown; Beatriz has disappeared; Rebecca continues in an abusive and dysfunctional marriage. Iliana reluctantly returns to New York City. In this dislocating urban environment, she confronts all the contradictions, superstitions, joys, and pains of someone caught between two cultures but who is intent on finding a home."

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Havana Twist

By Lia Matera

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"Attorney Willa Jansson's mother has never balked at breaking the law, especially not for a good cause. So when Willa learns her mother has flouted federal regulations and gone off to Cuba, she figures it's just a harmless pilgrimage to lefty Graceland. But when her mother doesn't return with the rest of her peacenik tour group, Willa fears the feds might consider the trip 'trading with the enemy' -- with a penalty of ten years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Worse, her mother's bleeding heart may finally have gotten her into more trouble than she can get herself out of.

"In Lia Matera's Havana Twist, Willa risks her career and passport by rushing to Cuba to retrace her mother's steps. But she finds that nothing there is quite as it seems. Following clues to neighborhoods tourists never see, through secret tunnels beneath the street, and into the finest luxury hotels, Willa is manipulated, misled, and nearly arrested. And in the meantime, newfound reporter friends -- or are they CIA agents? -- disappear as suddenly and inexplicably as her mother did."

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Home Killings

By Marcos McPeek Villatoro

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Rookie homicide detective Romilia Chacon is haunted by the unsolved murder of her sister. On the broken streets of Nashville, she longs for vengeance but finds herself an outsider--within a Latino community that views her with suspicion, and within a police force that makes no place for a brainy, beautiful woman. Partnered with the department hero, a detective famed for catching a vicious, ritualistic serial killer, she learns that her bilingual skills are valued more than her investigative insights. But when a reporter turns up dead, Romilia alone is convinced that it was murder, not suicide--and, worse, that it may be the work of the very killer her partner thinks he's already caught.
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