El Cipitío (2016), the new Cipitío

It’s not often that I have the opportunity to reflect on Salvadoran-American fiction. In fact, this is actually the very first time. The only other instance in which I’ve cited the work of a contemporary Salvadoran-American author is in a brief note on Juan José Martínez D’aubuisson’s Ver, oír y callar (2016), a nonfiction book […]

Helena Maria Viramontes: Their Dogs Came With Them (2006)

Today I have the pleasure of acknowledging a brilliant piece of fiction written by Los Angeles, from and for Los Angeles in Helena Maria Viramontes’s Their Dogs Came With Them. ‘L.A.’ in 2018 is a city of over 10 million people by the last estimate, and in several other ways significantly bigger than what it […]

It’s Been Ten Years of Writing in Los Angeles

It was ten years ago that I found myself at home in the living room wondering desperately about what the future held for me. I was seventeen years old, just graduated from high school, and anxious to get through the summer ahead of me. I felt terribly alone, disassociated from the friends that I’d known, […]

Two Badges: The Lives of Mona Ruiz (1997)

I’m a child of the nineties, so maybe that explains why I seem to be so fascinated with so much of the literature from the period. Or maybe it’s just that what so many writers published during the nineties comes off the pages as being directly related to general discussions about law and order today. To be sure, Mona Ruiz’s Two […]