Word on the Street

Word on the Street

News and notes from the San Antonio Literary scene

Fond farewell

San Antonio's literary, lesbian, and Latina communities are mourning the loss of Gloria Anzaldua, who passed away on May 13 at age 61. Anzaldua, a poet, theorist, essayist, and storyteller, is best known for her 1987 bilingual collection Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Her writings were instrumental in the growth and development of the Lesbian-feminist Latina movement, and her work is taught in universities to this day. In a moving e-mail circulating on the Internet the week after her death, Maria Berriozabal, among many others, testified to the impact Anzaldua had on her life.

Somos Soldados

Author Gil Dominguez will read from and sign his book, They Answered the Call: Latinos in the Vietnam War, one of only a handful of books and films documenting the experience of Latinos in America's longest and, to date, most unpopular conflict. The book, which documents the memories of 21 soldiers, will make good background reading for P.O.V.'s August 31 screening of Soldados: Chicanos in Viêt Nam, based on Charley Trujillo's 1991 book of the same name. Soldados will air on public television during the Republican convention. In the meantime, catch Dominguez May 29, 2 to 4 p.m. at Valenzuela's Latino Bookstore, 4535 Fredericksburg Rd. For more info, call 732-2229.

Legends in their own ...

Steven L. Davis, assistant curator for the Southwestern Writers Collection at Texas State's Alkek Library has been named Barnes & Noble's May "Author of the Month" for his debut effort, Texas Literary Outlaws: Six Writers in the Sixties and Beyond. Davis' book is a combination biography and bibliography of the work of influential writers Billy Lee Brammer (whose The Gay Place laid bare a thinly fictionalized LBJ), Gary Cartwright, Peter Gent, Dan Jenkins, Larry L. King, and Bud Shrake. Since some of the survivors and their contemporaries have taken to memorializing their wild-and-wooly days in Texas Monthly (and Cartwright has damn near made a franchise out of a bullet he took in the back seat of a cab in Mexico), it's good to have a reminder of how and why these once-ballsy writers turned over the big rock that was Texas culture and explored the maggots and rich earth hidden underneath. •

Compiled by Elaine Wolff