Jane's Book Goes Uptown!

Today--October 8th--was a big day: we got out of Lower Manhattan and went up to the Columbia area, and our book is now in Book Culture/Labyrinth at 536 West 112th St., between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.  It was fun getting out of the Village and Lower East Side (although we love them both).  And now we know people up there can get the book.

Bluestockings Event in November!

          I am going to speak about my book in November at Bluestockings Bookstore,

172 Allen Street on the Lower East Side.  The date is November 22, the time 7 p.m.

Bluestockings is a great radical feminist bookstore and I am very proud to be speaking


Artist to Writer: the Life and Work of Nicholasa Mohr

Nicholasa Mohr started life as an artist.  She went to art schools, and it wasn't until later in her life that she switched to telling stories.  In 1973, with Nilda, a coming-of-age story about a young girl in East Harlem, she became the first Latina writer to be published by a major publishing house.  She subsequently wrote stories about the Bronx ("El Bronx Remembered") and the lower east side ("In Nueva York") from the point of view of a Nuyorican.  

        Here is a list of her major publications:

Untitled Nicholasa Mohr (1998)

A Matter of Pride & other stories (1997)

Old Letivia & the Mountain of Sorrows (1996)

The Song of El Coqui & Other tales of Puerto Rico (1995)

The Magic Shell (1995)

Nicholasa Mohr: Growing Up Inside the Sanctuary of My Imagination (1994)

All For the Better: A Story of El Barrio (1993)

Going Home (1986)

Rituals of Survival: A Woman's Portfolio (1985)

Felita (1979)

In Nueva York (1977)

El Bronx Remembered: A Novella & Stories (1975)

Nilda (1973)


Teacher, Writer, Chicana: Sandra Cisneros

    I liked what Sandra Cisneros said on one of her videos: (to paraphrase) Why am I teaching poetry to Latina kids, when what they need is birth control advice?  And to guys who get beat up in the neighborhood, how can poetry help them?  I remember feeling that way, too, when I was teaching.    

       She has been very busy teaching and writing ever since "The House on Mango Street" came out years ago.  She is a Chicana, lived in a suburb of Chicago but now,  I think, still lives in Texas.  A Chicana is a woman who is Mexican and American, so she is not a New York-area person but she is a Latina.  She has written several other books, "Woman Hollering Creek," (stories); " My Wicked, Wicked Ways," (poetry) and "Loose Women" (poetry).  She has also written a multi-generation novel, "Caramelo."  Point of view, or stance, is an important element (who is speaking, how they are speaking) in her work.


Jane will be appearing at the Brooklyn Book Festival

On September 22nd at 5:30 I will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival at the National Writers  Union booths discussing my  book and reading from it.  The National Writers Union's booths are #63 and #64, which are very close to the Brooklyn Borough Hall, Adams and Joralemon Streets. The Brooklyn Book Festival is at Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza, 209 Joralemon Street.   

       So I hope you will stop by and say hello! 


Alba Ambert's Amazing Career

       The post-coming-of-age books by Alba Ambert are various in both subject and form.  She has written textbooks, a novel, a book of poetry, and books about spiritual enlightenment.  They include: The Anarchist's Daughter and The Passion of Maria Magdalena Stein (two novels); Alphabet of Seeds (poetry); three textbooks on bilingual education.  Ambert has also written three books on spiritual enlightenment: A Path of Light, The Seven Powers of Spiritual Evolution, and Your Sacred Space: A Guide to a Light-Filled Home.  The last one is a how-to book as well.  

           An amazing collection of work by someone who needed to overcome a great deal.  Ambert got a doctorate in psycholinguistics at Harvard, and is now a spiritual teacher and advisor.  

Judith Ortiz Cofer's Prolific Career

Judit Ortiz Cofer's Silent Dancing is discussed at length in my book--especially in the chapter about storytelling.  Her female relatives used to gather in a shady spot in their house in Puerto Rico and exchange stories of interest to women.  But she has done an awful lot of other work.  She works in practically all genres: poetry, children's books, fiction, nonfiction, essays.

Here is a bit of her biography from Wikipedia:

Ortiz Cofer's work can largely be classified as creative nonfiction. Her narrative self is strongly influenced by oral storytelling, which was inspired by her grandmother, an able storyteller in the tradition of teaching through storytelling among Puerto Rican women. Cofer's autobiographical work often focuses on her attempts at negotiating her life between two cultures, American and Puerto Rican, and how this process informs her sensibilities as a writer. Her work also explores such subjects as racism and sexism in American culture, machismo and female empowerment in Puerto Rican culture, and the challenges diasporic immigrants face in a new culture.[2] Among Cofer's more well known essays are "The Story of My Body" and "The Myth of the Latin Woman," both reprinted in The Latin Deli.

In 1984, Cofer joined the faculty of the University of Georgia, where she is currently Franklin Professor of English and Creative Writing. In April 2010, Ortiz Cofer was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.[3]

In 1994, she became the first Hispanic to win the O. Henry Prize for her story “The Latin Deli”. In 1996, Cofer and illustrator Susan Guevara became the first recipients of the Pura Belpre Award for Hispanic children’s literature. [4]

  • Peregrina (1986)
  • Terms of Survival (1987)
  • The Line of the Sun (1989)
  • Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood (1990)
  • The Latin Deli (1993)
  • Reaching for the Mainland and Selected New Poems (1995)
  • An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio (1995)
  • Catch The Moon (1996)
  • The Year of Our Revolution (1998)
  • Sleeping with One Eye Open: Women Writers and the Art of Survival (1999)
  • Woman in Front of the Sun: On Becoming A Writer (2000)
  • The Meaning of Consuelo (2003)
  • Call Me Maria (2004)
  • American History
  • A Love Story Beginning in Spanish: Poems (2005)