Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters by Susana Chávez-silvermanScenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters by Susana Chávez-silverman

Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters

bySusana Chávez-silvermanForeword byPaul Saint-amourAfterword byMichael Shelton

Paperback | April 27, 2010

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This is a rarity in contemporary writing, a truly bilingual enterprise, as in Susana Chávez-Silverman’s previous memoir, Killer Crónicas. Chávez-Silverman switches between English and Spanish, creating alinguistic mestizaje that is still a surprise encounter in the world of letters today, and the author forms one of a small but growing band of writers to embrace bilingualism as a literary force. Also like Killer Crónicas, each chapter in Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles is a “crónica,” a vignette that began as intimate diary entries and e-mails and letters to lovers, friends, and ghosts from the past. These episodic chapters follow the Chávez-Silverman’s personal history, from California to South Africa and Australia and back, from unfathomable loss to deeply felt joy. Readers drawn into this witty book will confront their own conceptions of boundaries, borders, languages, memories, and spaces.
Honorable Mention, Best Biography in Spanish or Bilingual, International Latino Book Awards
Susana Chávez-Silverman is professor of romance languages and literatures at Pomona College in California. She is author of Killer Crónicas and coeditor of Tropicalizations: Transcultural Representations of Latinidad and Reading and Writing the Ambiente: Queer Sexualities in Latino, Latin American, and Spanish Culture.
Title:Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural DisastersFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:April 27, 2010Publisher:University of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299235246

ISBN - 13:9780299235246

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Read from the Book

Por su white, insouciant, papery look, por su semejanza a la amapola (scentless, a fin de cuentas, no obstante esa famosa escena de la Wicked Witch of the West, purring evilly, “Poppies, poppies will put them to sleep. Sleeeep, sleep . . .”), when I leaned in to sniff, I hadn’t been expecting any scent at all. Y por eso, el cool, familiar mounds of damp masa harina, Mercado Libertad en verano scent, es—por lo utterly inesperado—lo más disturbingly, comfortingly hechizante que tienen las paper flowers.    Stay with me a while. Busquemos, together, más strange familiars.—excerpt from chapter 1, “Diary Inside/Color Local Crónica”© The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

    Paul Saint-Amour


Introduction: Cartografía Humana/Star Maps Crónica

I. Diary Inside/Color Local Crónica   
II. Montalvo Diary   
III. On Going Back Crónica   
IV. San Francisco Transcript/Diary   
V. In My Country Crónica   
VI. San Francisco Days Crónica   

Un Pico (De)presión Diptych
VII. Trincheras Crónica   
VIII. Hawk Call Crónica   

IX. Oda a la Ambigüedad Crónica   
X. Mountainess/Montañ(os)a Crónica   
XI. South Coast Plaza Crónica   
XII. I Want the Wrapper Crónica   
XIII. Mini Geography Lesson Crónica   
XIV. Arañita Cobriza Crónica   
XV. Westside Desilusión Crónica   

There Was Blood Diptych
XVI. Unos Cuantos Piquetitos Crónica   
XVII. Momentos Hemorrágicos Crónica   

XVIII. Currawong Crónica   
XIX. Por Montalvo Crónica   
XX. Alchemy Armisteadiana Crónica   
XXI. Tuberose Frenesí Crónica   
XXII. Solstice/Shamanic Magia Crónica   
XXIII. (Almost) Milagros Crónica   
XXIV. Todavía Wild (at Heart) Crónica   

Afterword: Linguistic Perspectives on Code-Switching   
    Michael Shelton

Editorial Reviews

“These diverse passions—trees, men, perfume, astral signs, chronic panic attacks, an all-abiding love for friends and the sounds of the streets of San Francisco, all make her so endearing. After the alarums and diversions, it is these passions that drive her story . . . drive her . . .  make it hard for those of us on either side of the border to ever be able to forget her y su poder.”—Carlos Amantea, The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities