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Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing Paperback – June 27, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“With this collection, queer Latina/o writers claim their place in the variegated terrain of contemporary American fiction. Ranging from the erotic to the elegiac, the fantastic to the frighteningly real, these stories entertain our senses and challenge our notions of what it means to be a queer person of color.”—Israel Reyes, Dartmouth College


The stories presented in Ambientes are as varied as their authors, but the over-arching theme is one of otherness within our own communities. It’s that shared otherness, however, that promises a powerful cultural unity. By collecting these early stories, Lima and Picano have taken that first step toward transmuting our individual experiences into a larger cultural legacy, and, in turn, opening the door to a broader, more inclusive national identity.”—Lambda Literary

Ambientes is a timely contribution at this point in history during which demographic shifts are literally changing the face of America. The stories in Ambientes provide a significant model for GLBT Latinos in the U.S., giving them the tools to find their own voice by uncovering a community that has long been neglected and silenced.” —The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide

Book Description

As the U.S. Latino population grows rapidly, and as the LGBTQ Latino community becomes more visible and a more crucial part of our literary and artistic heritage, there is an increasing demand for literature that successfully highlights these diverse lives. Edited by Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano, Ambientes is a revolutionary collection of fiction featuring stories by established authors as well as emerging voices that present a collective portrait of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience in America today. With a preface by Picano and an introduction by Lima that sets the stage for understanding Latino literary and cultural history, this is the first anthology to cross cultural and regional borders by offering a wide variety of urban, rural, East Coast, West Coast, and midwestern perspectives on Latina and Latino queers from different walks of life. Stories range from sensual pieces to comical romances and from inner-city dramas fueled by street language to portraits of gay domesticity, making this a much-needed collection for many different kinds of readers. The stories in this collection reflect a vibrant and creative community and redefine received notions of “gay” and “lesbian.”

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (June 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299282244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299282240
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,263,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob Lind on July 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
In his introduction to this anthology, Lima points out the wide diversity of queer Latino writers, with their varying experiences and ideas, which make up the commonalities of the stories in this book. There are seventeen such stories in all, ranging in scope from edgy memoirs of urban childhood adventures, to enduring remembrances of friends and acquaintances one might have preferred to forget, and life lessons learned from a wide variety of shared experiences,

Unlike most anthologies, none of the stories especially stood out as noteworthy to me. The writing is generally very good, though sometimes difficult to navigate for someone who is not bilingual, since some of the authors use phrases and sometimes entire paragraphs in Spanish, beyond the scope of my limited high school language courses. There is no central theme of the writings, which is perhaps the point in illustrating how "queer Latino writing" is just as diverse as any writing, which makes the need for the book far from compelling for me, perhaps reflecting a cultural bias on my part. Discounting that, and my own language problems, I'll give it four stars out of five for the quality of the writing.

- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. SANDOVAL on July 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a good collection of stories by a wide variety of writers. Of the pieces that stick out n my mind (don't have the book in front of me)...Horacio N. Roque Ramírez's bio essay is devestatingly beautiful and heartfelt. Charles Rice-González's tale of young tranny bandits is actually revealing and ultimately sad. Ramón García spins a comic tragedy of a Selena-obsessed drag queen. Achy Obejas has a quietly haunting piece in the beginning of the book. Raquel Gutiérrez has a sweet defiant piece about a butch girl.
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