March 23, 2009

New Calendar Feature, and More

Hello everyone! I am dropping you this quick note to let you know that in an effort to make this blog as helpful and informative as possible for all readers, including book publishing professionals, authors and book lovers, I have added a calendar of upcoming events to the left side of the page. A quick look at the new calendar will reveal that I intend to include industry-wide events such as Book Expo America and librarians' conferences, as well as those that are more specialized, such as the National Latino Writers Conference in New Mexico, where I will be a participant, and a fabulous writing workshop by famed translator Liliana Valenzuela coming up in July. I'd like to encourage you all to send me your events to add to the new calendar. These can include readings, and all types of workshops, book celebrations or presentations. The only requirement for events is that their main focus be books and nothing else. The readers of this blog comes from all parts of the country and so too should our events. Let's work together to make this the most exhaustive calendar of events related to the Latino book industry out there! 

Another couple of additions you may find helpful, are the "share this" and "subscribe" buttons on the left side of the page. Blogs are still relatively new to some, and it is with those folks in mind that I am attempting to make sharing and subscribing to content a little bit easier. I hope you find the new buttons helpful as well. More to come very soon! 

March 19, 2009

Being Bilingual and Bicultural

Although NBC’s series on the Hispanic-American experience called “We the People” aired nearly two weeks ago, I strongly believe that the clip below is worth a second look because it deals with some of the issues that we have all faced as producers and/or supporters of Latino literature.

Regardless of whether you are a publisher, author, translator, marketer, publicist, or reader of Latino literature, you have undoubtedly come across questions about being bilingual and/or bicultural. These questions acquire a particularly high degree of importance when they relate to children and their exposure to two languages from an early age. For instance, some believe that having access to two languages and cultures is beneficial to children because it expands their view and experience of the world, while others worry that acquiring two languages at once will lead to linguistic confusion and slow down learning. This particular question is of special interest to parents and educators, and it deserves an answer.

The clip below does a wonderful job of discussing studies related to some of the most common linguistic and cultural issues facing Latinos in the U.S., which is why I think that all of us interested in Latino literature should take a couple of minutes to watch and comment on it. In addition to language acquisition, the clip also deals with “acculturation,” “interculturation,” and other equally important topics related to being bilingual and bicultural. I would love to know what you think about some of the topics it touches on, about your own experiences, and what you have learned. Latino literature is by definition bilingual and/or bicultural, so this concerns us all. Please post your comments on this very important topic. I look forward to reading them.

March 3, 2009

NBC Joins the Conversation

Two-thirds of the Latino population voted for Obama, effectively helping him to get into office by winning him states that had previously gone to the Republicans, such as Florida, New Mexico, and Colorado.

This fact has not gone unnoticed by the mainstream media.

Last night, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams launched a week-long series called WE THE PEOPLE, highlighting the "Hispanic Experience" in the U.S., which in fact calls attention to many issues that have hereto gone virtually unnoticed by said media, such as the staggering rate of growth of the U.S. Latino population (1 out of 2 babies born in the U.S. is now of Latino heritage). Expect to see more reports like this one, and watch them whenever you can. It is important for the media to know that there is a great deal of interest on the topic on the part of viewers.

Below is last night's first segment, which, I was glad to find, also highlighted Latino CHILDREN. Latino children are, after all, the ones responsible for this great demographic leap. Let's hope that publishers see the new face of America shown at the end of the video, and produce more books for THEM. Enjoy!