Latinx Writing Los Angeles


Latinx Writing Los Angeles

Nonfiction Dispatches from a Decolonial Rebellion

Edited by Ignacio López-Calvo and Victor Valle

246 pages


April 2018


$45.00 Add to Cart

June 2019


$25.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

April 2018


$25.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

April 2018


$25.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

2020 International Latino Book Awards Honorable Mention in Best Nonfiction (Multi-Author)

Latinx Writing Los Angeles offers a critical anthology of Los Angeles’s most significant English-language and Spanish-language (in translation) nonfiction writing from the city’s inception to the present. Contemporary Latinx authors, including three Pulitzer Prize winners and writers such as Harry Gamboa Jr., Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and Rubén Martínez, focus on the ways in which Latinx Los Angeles’s nonfiction narratives record the progressive racialization and subalternization of Latinxs in the southwestern United States.

While notions of racial memory, coloniality, biopolitics, internal colonialism, cultural assimilation, Mexican or pan-Latinx cultural nationalism, and transnationalism permeate this anthology, contributors advocate the idea of a contested modernity that refuses to accept mainstream cultural impositions, proposing instead alternative ways of knowing and understanding. Featuring a wide variety of voices as well as a diversity of subgenres, this collection is the first to illuminate divergent, hybrid Latinx histories and cultures. Redefining Los Angeles’s literary history and providing a new model for English, Spanish, and Latinx studies, Latinx Writing Los Angeles is an essential contribution to southwestern and borderland studies.

Author Bio

Ignacio López-Calvo is a professor of literature at the University of California, Merced. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including The Affinity of the Eye: Writing Nikkei in Peru and Latino Los Angeles in Film and Fiction: The Cultural Production of Social Anxiety. Victor Valle is a professor emeritus of ethnic studies at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. A former journalist for the Los Angeles Times, Valle earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 with fellow journalists. He is the author of several books, including Latino Metropolis and City of Industry: Genealogies of Power in Southern California.


"A vital addition to Latinx studies."—Y. Fuentes, Choice

"Latinx Writing Los Angeles extends the archive of LA literature in provocative and meaningful ways."—Monika Kaup, American Literary History

"This selection of writings from sixteen outstanding contributors presents a refreshing view of the Latinx experience in Los Angeles."—Martin Camps, Hispania

"Whoever ventures into a course on Latino identity will be well served reading this volume in which one and all of its entries contain the keys as to why, after so many years, we continue feeling so close yet far from being American. In this book, Los Angeles serves not only as a global city but also a compendium of happiness and misery, due to the reiterated intents to immobilize us. López Calvo and Valle confide in the chronicle. In times of uncertain journalism, it is more reliable."—Revista Iberoamericana

“Ignacio López-Calvo and Victor Valle have assembled an intriguing anthology of how and what Mexican Americans and other U.S. Latinx think about Los Angeles. Its other virtue, a provocative pair of essays on the city’s literary culture, proposes a critical agenda for reimagining an urban practice of humanities at this time of anti-immigrant hysteria.”—David William Foster, Regents’ Professor of Spanish and Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University and author of São Paulo: Perspectives on the City and Cultural Production

“This book will pump new life into future reviews of Los Angeles’s literature, strengthen the city’s grasp on the peoples and facts of its opaque history, and stimulate teachers to imagine, with their students, a better democracy for all. This finely written book, in both its critical vision and more than a dozen examples of liberating journalism, is a strong step toward an urban humanities that puts Latinx nonfiction writing about LA, for the first time maybe, into the ‘We’ of ‘We the People’ of the global city.”—Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard Divinity School

“With inspired juxtapositions, the editors give us a pathbreaking volume that contextualizes and historicizes their unexpected selections to reveal a too often unspoken genealogy of Los Angeles Latinx nonfiction.”—Otto Santa Ana, professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles

Table of Contents

LA’s Latina/o Phantom Nonfiction and the Technologies of Literary Secrecy    
Victor Valle
Decolonizing Latina/o Nonfiction in LA’s Writing    
Ignacio López-Calvo and Victor Valle
1. “With the Amicable People of Ensenada de Palmas”: Excerpt from Breve relación de la nueva entrada al sur, en la copiosa gentilidad de la nación de los coras . . . , por el padre    
Ignacio María Napoli, S.J.
2. The Public Outcry. Noteworthy Pamphlet    
Francisco Ramírez
3. The Repercussions of a Lynching     
Ricardo Flores Magón
4. To Womankind, a Manifesto     
Blanca de Moncaleano
5. Excerpt from “The Memoirs of Alfredo Cobos”    
Alfredo Cobos
6. Excerpts from The Journals of Anaïs Nin    
Anaïs Nin
7. Bert Corona’s “Struggle Is the Ultimate Teacher”     
Jesús Mena
8. Beach Blanket Baja     
Helena María Viramontes
9. “The ‘Good Old Mission Days’ Never Existed”: Excerpt from The Medicine of Memory: A Mexica Clan in California    
Alejandro Murguía
10. Light at the End of Tunnel Vision: In Memory of Gerardo Velázquez and Ray Navarro     
Harry Gamboa Jr.
11. “Deported to the North”: Excerpt from Dangerous Border Crossings: The Artist Talks Back    
Guillermo Gómez-Peña
12. Lights     
Nylsa Martínez
13. Movie Version: “Hell to Eternity”     
Sesshu Foster
14. Americanismo: City of Peasants, Los Angeles, California     
Héctor Tobar
15. “The Boy Left Behind”: Excerpt from Enrique’s Journey    
Sonia Nazario
16. My Father’s House     
Rubén Martínez
Source Acknowledgments    


2020 International Latino Book Awards Honorable Mention in Best Nonfiction (Multi-Author)

Also of Interest