Friday, June 18, 2021

Nepantla Familias: Bookworks in Albuquerque

The independent bookstore, Bookworks in Albuquerque, featured Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (Texas A&M Press and The Wittliff Collections) at a recent online event. As editor, I moderated a panel with three contributors, Sheryl Luna, Matt Mendez, and Daniel Chacon. I hope you enjoy it.

"In his introduction to the anthology, Sergio Troncoso says he believes the feeling of nepantla is a universal one. “Anyone who has left their home and tried to find a new one in a strange place—at times welcoming and at times hostile—they should find themselves in these pages . . . And anyone who has crossed any border to create who they are . . . and suffered the consequences for it—they will find their fellow travelers, their kindred spirits, in these pages.” I think he is absolutely correct. Monoculture is a myth, and one of many fictions I hope to see dismantled in my lifetime." ---Elizabeth Gonzalez James in Ploughshares

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Pati Jinich on Nepantla Familias: "Super recommended!!"

At the end of May, I traveled to Ysleta (my east side neighborhood in El Paso, Texas) to visit my mother on her 86th birthday and to eat tamales and tacos with Pati Jinich (Pati's Mexican Table) at La Tapatia in Ysleta. Pati was shooting a PBS series called "La Frontera," and she invited me to talk about the border, its people, and La Tapatia, which I had suggested as our restaurant. She is such a remarkable human being, and my impression is that she cares deeply about the people and culture of the borderlands. I gave her a copy of Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds (Texas A&M Press and The Wittliff Collections), which I edited.

I returned to New York City, because I have deadlines and a host of responsibilities particularly with the Texas Institute of Letters. I'm the current president. So on June 12th, Pati tweets on Twitter and posts on Instagram, "Currently reading Nepantla [Familias]: a phenomenal anthology of Mexican American literature on families in between worlds by@SergioTroncoso. Super recommended!!"

I'm grateful for her support. She didn't have to do that, but she did. I find that these gestures of kindness are what I remember many years later. Thank you, Pati, for the excellent conversation and for reading Nepantla Familias. I wish you safe travels. (Apparently "La Frontera will air sometime this summer, in late July or August.)

Sergio Troncoso and Pati Jinich at La Tapatia in Ysleta, Texas.