Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Charro Claus says: AIII! y FELIZ NAVIDAD!

Maria Hinojosa of Latino USA has a wonderful interview with Xavier Garza about his new book Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid. Xavier is truly himself--puro americano, puro fronterizo--and Maria is delighted. She gets it, she loves it. Xavier talks about growing up in Rio Grande City and his father taking him Christmas shopping. They'd see Santa Claus but he'd be wearing a big wide sombrero. Who is that, Xavier would ask his dad? His father would laugh and say, Why, that's Charro Claus, Santa Claus' Mexican cousin! And just like that the seed was planted in Xavier's heart and mind to some day tell the origin story of the one and only Charro Claus.

And of course in Xavier's story Charro Claus, with his nephew Vincent as his faithful companion and a herd of burros pulling the wagon through the night sky, doesn't have trouble crossing back and forth across the border, no matter how tall they build the fences and walls.

Do you live near the border between Texas and Mexico? Well, don't be surprised if you happen to look up in the sky one Christmas Eve night and see a wagon being pulled by a pack of flying burritos. If you listen closely you might even hear Charro Claus and his sidekick the Tejas Kid calling out for all the world to hear:

“√Āndale, Rigo! Go, Jaime! C’mon, Freddie! Dale gaaaaaas, Little Joe! Step on it!”

But on a side note that speaks of the tribulations of Independent Publishing, we've heard from a number of folks that they've had an impossible time finding the book in time for Christmas. In Austin, for instance, the stores were sold out even before the show aired on KUT. This is one more example of book buyers still underestimating Latinos' (especially Mexicans and Mexican-Americans) hunger for books that speak of their roots, their own part of the great American quilt. Not to worry though. We filled plenty of orders through our website and our storefront. Of course, folks in El Paso didn't have to worry. Bookstores here, especially the two B&Ns, called back for more. And of course Charro Claus will have long legs. We don't think we'll even have to wait until next year. We'll be selling the story of Charro Claus all year long!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cinco Puntos Press at the INDIE BOOKFAIR in NYC, BYRDS at Poetry Project at St. Mark's

This weekend--Saturday and Sunday, December 6th and 7th--Cinco Puntos Press will be exhibiting at the 21st Annual Indie and Small Press Book Fair, thanks to their generosity and support. The 2-day celebration takes place at the New York Center for Independent Presses at 20 West 44th Street. Artist and writer Youme Landowne, creator of the graphic memoir Pitch Black about life and art in the subway tunnels of NYC, will be at our booth both days, and on Sunday she'll be reading and talking about Pitch Black.

Also coming by our booth will be Cuban artist Mauricio Trenard, illustrator of Joe Hayes' collection of Cuban stories, Dance, Nana, Dance / Baila, Nana, Dance

and Christopher Cardinale, illustrator for our upcoming graphic novel Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush, a realization of Luis Alberto Urrea's story of the same name.

On Wednesday night, 8pm, December 10, The Poetry Project has invited co-publishers Lee and Bobby Byrd to read at St Mark's. Lee will be reading from her novel Riley's Fire and Bobby will be reading new poems and from his most recent book White Panties, Dead Friends & Other Bits and Pieces of Love. Cinco Puntos friends Eileen Myles and Elinor Nauen will be there reading their favorite selections from Harvey Goldner's The Resurrection of Bert Ringold.

It'd be great to see friends of Cinco Puntos!