Author Archive

David Lida’s ONE LIFE is the Injection of Humanity for Your Post-Election Blues

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Post-election, escapism is the only salve when no one can seem to look each other in the eye. David Lida’s newest novel, ONE LIFE, is exactly the dark-humored piece of literature everyone should be indulging in right now.

Reading OCOSINGO WAR DIARIES in the Wake of Colombia’s Failed Peace Deal

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I have a writer friend who is a punk, a recovering anarchist, a staunch Zapatista supporter. He plays bass in a punk band, writes poetry in the afternoons. He said to me one time: Why is it that American writers are the only artists in the

Daniel Saldaña París’ Among Strange Victims Is the Book You Need in the Post-Trump-Visit-to-Mexico Era

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Of all Mexican novels to read in this post-Trump-visit-to-Mexico era, Daniel Saldaña París’ Among Strange Victims reigns supreme. Not that it’s an overtly political novel, but it is one that explores the unbearable absurdities of living in this world.

Juan Villoro’s “The Guilty” Decenters What It Means To Be Mexican

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Last month I found myself in the gardening section of a German supermarket where, on sale, I came across Mexican-themed cacti. Tiny, impossibly hairy things with googly eyes and black moustaches and pastel colored sombreros made of clay. Typical German kitsch. “That looks like my uncle Mario,” I thought.

Reading Elena Poniatowska’s LA NOCHE DE TLATELOLCO Amid The Oaxaca Teacher Protests

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In the news this morning a picture flashed on my screen like a scene ripped directly from Elena Poneiatowska’s La Noche de Tlatelolco, a book that I teach from time to time about the ’68 student massacre in Mexico City.

DIY: A Tiny Interview With Ruben Quesada

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It's a little known secret that Ruben Quesada is quietly responsible for the promotion and community infrastructure that so many contemporary Latina/o writers enjoy today. As an editor, he plays a direct role in outlets such as Codex Journal, The Cossack Review, Cobalt Review, and Luna Luna Magazine.

The Argonauts Is A Direct Descendant Of Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera And No One Is Talking About It

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On my desk, Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts and Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera sit one atop the other. I didn’t plan it that way. It just sort of happened like that—I read one and then I read the other. It wasn’t until this week, when I was leafing through them

On Being A Writer With A Super Common Name or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Google

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My name is Daniel Peña, I’m a writer, and there are other Daniel Peñas messin’ up my Google results. It’s annoying and I’m against it. To ground us, let me tell you who they are: One Daniel Peña is an incredible twelve year old boy who showed me up

“Are Mexican-American Writers Obligated To Write About Donald Trump?” A Brown Dude Explains

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I’ve written exactly one thing on Donald Trump. One piece felt like enough at the time—Got him!—though as a Mexican-American writer, I find myself wondering how many ways one could/should write about the phenomenon that is the rise of Trump and contemporary populist American bigotry. I’ve wondered too is

Octavia Butler’s Notebook Represents All The Anxieties Of Writers Of Color

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  On its blog last week, the Huntington Library released previously unseen photographs of some of the late Octavia Butler’s papers, which the library catalogued after Butler’s untimely death nearly ten years ago. Included in the collection are some of Butler’s early science fiction stories, contracts, drafts, and notebooks,