Spilling the Beans in Chicanolandia: Conversations with Writers and Artists

By Frederick Luis Aldama | Go to book overview

Alejandro Morales

On October 14, 1944, Alejandro Morales was born in Montebello, California. Raised by first-generation Mexican émigrés from Guanajuato, Morales spent his childhood and teenage years in East Los Angeles. With unusual drive and scholarly aptitude, Morales made it out of East L.A., earning a B.A. in English from California State University, Los Angeles, and an M.A. shortly thereafter (1973). With his passion aflame for writing and thinking critically about the world through literature, Morales pursued graduate studies in English literature at Rutgers University in New Jersey. In 1975, he received his Ph.D. and also published his first novel, Caras viejas y vino nuevo. Published in Spanish and by a Mexico City press, this experimental novel used fragmented form and a street slang style to texture the lives of two teenage boys, Mateo and Julian, trying to survive life in the barrio. More controversially, the novel also portrays their homosocial relationship. While the novel ruffled feathers, it also received great critical acclaim. Soon after, Morales published La verdad sin voz (1979), which follows the lives of an idealistic Anglo character, Dr. Logan, and a Chicano, Professor Morenito. Both encounter various obstacles: the former struggling to fit in as an outsider working in a rural Mexican barrio, and the latter trying to work within a racist urban university. In 1982 Morales published a series of stories that interweave in surprising ways to create the dynastic novel Reto en el paraíso (Defiance in paradise). Here, we encounter four generations of a wealthy Hispanic californio family, the Coronels, and their painful transition from landowner class to the ranks of the landless. Morales next

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Spilling the Beans in Chicanolandia: Conversations with Writers and Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introducing a Second Wave of Chicano/a Visual/Verbal Artists 1
  • Francisco X. Alarcón 37
  • Alfred Arteaga 53
  • Ricardo Bracho 69
  • Denise Chávez 79
  • Lucha Corpi 95
  • Dagoberto Gilb 107
  • Jaime Hernandez (of Los Bros Hernandez) 119
  • Juan Felipe Herrera 129
  • Richard Montoya (of Culture Clash) 143
  • Pat Mora 153
  • Cherríe Moraga 167
  • Alejandro Morales 177
  • Michael Nava 187
  • Daniel Olivas 199
  • Cecile Pineda 215
  • Lourdes Portillo 227
  • Luis J. Rodríguez 235
  • Benjamin Alire Sáenz 251
  • Luis Alberto Urrea 261
  • Alfredo Véa Jr 277
  • Alma Luz Villanueva 287
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