Latinx Winners & Finalists for the Texas Institute of Letters 2019 Literary Awards
Latino Book Review is proud to share the Latinx winners and finalists of the Texas Institute of Letters 2019 Literary Awards. We are proud of their achievements and success in promoting our culture through our stories.
Natalia Sylvester: Winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction, for Everyone Knows You Go Home (Little A).
"Everyone Knows You Go Home is prescient, tackling issues of family division, the arduous journey of crossing from one country into the next, and the sacrifices we make in exchange for a better future."
Xavier Garza: Finalist of The Texas Institute of Letters Best Children’s Picture Book for Just One Itsy Bitsy Little Bite/Solo una mordidita chiquitita.
"Award-winning children's book author Xavier Garza collaborates with illustrator Flor de Vita to create an engaging introduction to numbers and the Mexican cultural traditions of the Day of the Dead, mariachi music and sweet bread. Children ages 4-8 will want to pair this entertaining book with their favorite pan dulce!"
Christopher Carmona: Finalists for the Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book for El Rinche.
Mexican Tejano families have been living in South Texas for hundreds of years. The completed railroad has brought another wave of Anglo settlers seeking new lands by any means necessary. Chonnie's family has been murdered and Mexican Tejanos are being terrorized in the name of progress by a ruthless organization known as the Texas Rangers. What will Chonnie do? Who will he become? Those who have terrorized the Mexican American community will soon meet their match.
Guadalupe García McCall: Finalists for the Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book for All the Stars Denied.
"In the heart of the Great Depression, Rancho Las Moras, like everywhere else in Texas, is gripped by the drought of the Dust Bowl, and resentment is building among white farmers against Mexican Americans. All around town, signs go up proclaiming 'No Dogs or Mexicans' and 'No Mexicans Allowed.' There are no easy answers in the first YA book to tackle this hidden history. In a companion novel to her critically acclaimed SHAME THE STARS, Guadalupe Garcia McCall tackles the first mass deportation event that swept up hundreds of thousands of Mexican American citizens during the Great Depression.
Francisco Cantú: Finalist of the Carr P. Collins Award for Best Book of Non-Fiction for The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border.
"Francisco and his partners learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Plagued by a growing awareness of his complicity in a dehumanizing enterprise, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the full extent of the violence it wreaks, on both sides of the line".
Fernando A. Flores: Finalist of The Sergio Troncoso Award for Best Work of First Fiction for Death to the Bullshit Artists of South Texas.
"Death to the Bullshit Artists of South Texas is a psychedelic romp through the Rio Grande Valley music scene. This collection of 10 punk rock fairy-tales offers a prismatic view of a subculture so rich that if it knew its own worth, it just might revolt against itself. This is the book you wish you had as a teenager, headphones on, waiting at a bus stop for a ride to the record store".
Cristina Salinas: Finalist of The Ramirez Family Award for Most Significant Scholarly Book for Managed Migrations.
"Managed Migrations examines the relationship between immigration laws and policy and the agricultural labor relations of growers and workers in South Texas and El Paso during the 1940s and 1950s. Her pioneering research reveals the great extent to which immigration policy was made at the local level, as well as the agency of Mexican farmworkers who managed to maintain their mobility and kinship networks despite the constraints of grower paternalism and enforcement actions by the Border Patrol."
Rodney Gomez: Finalist of The John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry for Citizens of the Mausoleum.
"In so many ways, these poems, to me, are paintings. Potent. Alive. Saturated with song and diction. Loss. An archive of loss which might also be an archive of love and/or reckoning. How essential an archive of loss or violence is if we are to know how to place ourselves in history, how to talk about what we’ve inherited and what we must move toward and against.”
Analicia Sotelo: Finalist of The John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry for Virgin.
"In Virgin, Sotelo walks the line between autobiography and mythmaking, offering up identities like dishes at a feast. These poems devour and complicate tropes of femininity ―of naiveté, of careless abandon― before sharply exploring the intelligence and fortitude of women. A schoolgirl hopelessly in love. A daughter abandoned by her father. A seeming innocent in a cherry-red cardigan, lurking at the margins of a Texas barbeque. A contemporary Ariadne with her monstrous Theseus. A writer with a penchant for metaphor and a character who thwarts her own best efforts. 'A Mexican American fascinator.'”