"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.'"
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.
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 . . .
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.
"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."
"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."
"It's a long way from Santo Domingo to the Bronx, but if anyone can go the distance, it's the Garcia girls. Four lively latinas plunged from a pampered life of privilege on an island compound into the big-city chaos of New York, they rebel against Mami and Papi's old-world discipline and embrace all that America has to offer."
Teresina Avila is a divorced, thirty-something Chicana working in Cabritoville, New Mexico. Her lover will never leave his wife and ties Tere's heart in knots. Her diversions center around her best friend, Irma, and her membership in the Pedro Infante Fan Club. A hilarious and heartrending story about the fictions women weave to justify loving the wrong mate.
"With a mandate given to her through a dream, the Navarro matriarch announces that in order for La Estrella to thrive once more, the family must be reunited in Miami. Only there's a hitch: the youngest daughter, Diamond, a journalist living in Las Vegas, is missing. The family must find a way to rescue her, not only in time to restore the family's lost business to its shimmering glory, but also to save Diamond's life."
"The 'him' in MAKE HIM LOOK GOOD is Ricky Biscayne, sexy Latin singing sensation who has taken the pop world by storm. The women who orbit him include:
- Milan, Ricky's new publicist, smart as a whip and chubby as only a girl who still lives at home with her parents can be
- Geneva, Milan's sister and as lean and chic as Milan is not; her Club G promises to be Miami's hottest opening ever
- Jasminka, Ricky's gorgeous Serbian model wife, who finally might eat a little something now that she's pregnant
- Irene, a firefighter whose high school romance with Ricky was the last love in her life, eking out an existence for herself and her daughter.
- Sophia, who is beginning to suspect that she and Ricky Biscayne look a little too much alike
- Jill Sanchez, an omniverous media-manic Latina star who has crossed over from CDs to perfume, clothes and movies
Set in and around Miami, with its vibrant music, club and modeling scenes, MAKE HIM LOOK GOOD is irresistible fiction."
In 1857, when Chen Pan signs a contract that will take him from China “beyond the edge of the world to Cuba,” he has no idea that he will be enslaved on a sugarcane plantation . . . or that he will eventually, miraculously, escape his bonds and embark on a prosperous life in Havana’s Chinatown . . . or that he will buy a mulatto woman out of slavery and take her into his home and heart . . . or that he will end his long days in Havana, surrounded by children and grandchildren, as Cuban as he is Chinese.
"In this powerful modern odyssey, VidamÍa struggles to bring her father back to the world of jazz. Her quest gives her a new understanding of family, particularly through her half-sisters Fawn, a lonely young poet plagued with a secret, and Cookie, a sassy, streetsmart homegirl who happens to be "white." And when VidamÍa becomes involved with a young African-American jazz saxophonist, she is forced to explore her own complex roots, along with the dizzying contradictions of race etched in the American psyche. Edgardo Vega YunquÉ vividly captures the myriad voices of our American idiom like a virtuoso spinning out a series of expanding riffs, by turns lyrical, deadly, flippant, witty, and haunting."
"Olivia's boy is her toddler son--and she's tethered to him and to her suburban mommy track so tightly the other girls sometimes cringe. Alexis has a smart mouth and an ample body; she's a beautiful musician's manager with loads of style but about enough self-esteem to fill a Prada card case. Her complicated love affair with the casually sexy Cuban rapper Goyo is a deeply satisfying romance that will delight readers almost as much as the emotional richness and girly fun of the heroines' friendship."
"It is 1961. The Dominican Republic languishes under economic sanctions; the Catholic church spurs its clergy against the government; from its highest ranks down, the country is arrested in bone-chilling fear. In The Feast of the Goat, Vargas Llosa unflinchingly tells the story of a regime's final days and the unsteady efforts of the men who would replace it.
"His narrative skates between the rituals of the hated dictator, Rafael Trujillo, in his daily routine, and the laying-in-wait of the assasins who will kill him; their initial triumph; and the shock of fear's release--and replacements. In the novel's final chapters we learn Urania Cabral's story, self-imposed exile whose father was Trujillo's cowardly Secretary of State. Drawn back to the country of her birth from 30 years after Trujillo's assasination, the widening scope of the dictator's cruelty finds expression in her story, and a rapt audience in her extended family."
"Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become."
"The intensely anticipated new novel from the author of the international bestseller Like Water for Chocolate tells a cosmic love story, a Mexican Midsummer Night's Dream that stretches from the fall of Montezuma's Mexico to the 23rd century. A skillful and delightfully playful blend of fictional genres, The Law of Love features 48 pages of dramatic, color illustrations by Miguelanxo Prado, Spain's premier artist of the graphic novel, plus a compact disc with arias and Mexican."
"To be sure, Sundeen has never been to a bullfight. He doesn't speak Spanish. He's not even a particularly good reporter. Come to think of it, he's probably one of the least qualified people to write a book about bullfighting, even in the best of circumstances. But that doesn't stop Mark Sundeen.
"After squandering most of the book advance on back rent and debts, Sundeen can't afford a trip to Spain, so he settles for nearby Mexico. But the bullfighting he finds south of the border is tawdry and comical, and people seem much more interested in the concessions and sideshows. There's little of the passion and artistry and bravery that he'd hoped to employ in exhibiting his literary genius to the masses.
"To compensate for his own shortcomings as an author, Sundeen invents an alter ego, Travis LaFrance, a swashbuckling adventure writer, in the tradition of his idol, Ernest Hemingway. But as his research falters, his money runs out, and the deadline approaches, Sundeen's high-minded fantasies are skewered by his second-rate reality. Eventually, Travis LaFrance steps in to take control, and our narrator goes blundering through the landscape of his own dreams and delusions, propelled solely by a preposterous, quixotic, and ultimately heartbreaking insistence that his own life story, no matter how crummy, is worth being told in the pages of Great Literature."
"Ultimately Consuelo must choose: will she fulfill the expectations of her family--offering consolation as their tragedy unfolds? Or will she risk becoming la fulana, the outsider, like the harlequin figure of her neighbor, Mario/Maria Sereno, who flaunts his tight red pedal pushers and empty brassiere as he refuses the traditional macho role of his culture. This affecting novel is a lively celebration of Puerto Rico as well as an archetypal story of loss, the loss each of us experiences on our journey from the island of childhood to the uncharted territory of adulthood."
"This rambunctious first novel by the author of the bestselling Corelli's Mandolin is set in an impoverished, violent, yet ravishingly beautiful country somewhere in South America. When the haughty Dona Constanza decides to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, the consequences are at once tragic, heroic, and outrageously funny."
"At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona for a European education. In a country chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, Diego follows the example of his celebrated fencing master and joins La Justicia, a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. With this tumultuous period as a backdrop, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts for the first time a great rival who emerges from the world of privilege.
"Between California and Barcelona, the New World and the Old, the persona of Zorro is formed, a great hero is born, and the legend begins. After many adventures -- duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and impossible rescues -- Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves."