A Famed Reporter, a Quest by a Mom, a Pionera’s Unpublished Story, A Historical Novel and a Book Review… Next in Centro Voices

The next issue of Centro Voices is packed with five stories you will not want to miss. The famed reporter is the inimitable David Gonzalez, the well-known New York Times reporter and photojournalist. The object of the mom’s quest is culturally relevant children’s books. The short story is by Pura Belpré, and the excerpt is from a new historical novel about the first Puerto Rican to be put to death in the electric chair. Also on the e- pages of this edition of Centro Voices is a book review analyzing literature by Puerto Rican women writers and filmmakers.

First Samy Nemir Olivares shares his interview with the particular voice of the South Bronx, David Gonzalez. Gonzalez has devoted his professional life to capturing through images and words the essence and battles of the city’s Latino and mostly Puerto Rican communities. Along with the Q&A is an audio segment and a montage of Gonzalez’s photos.

Marixsa Rodríguez will take you through her experience looking for children’s’ books that portray the culture and realities of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. She discusses the outcome of her quest after searching online, talking to a scholar on children’s literature, visiting a local bookstore and attending a book fair and a conference on Latino literature.

Inés, a short story by the legendary librarian, folklorist and author Pura Belpré, was unpublished during Belpré’s lifetime but was included in Lisa Sánchez González’s The Stories I Read to the Children: The Life and Writing of Pura Belpré, the Legendary Children’s Author, and New York Public Librarian (New York: Center for Puerto Rican Studies, 2013). The story is preceded by an excerpt from Sánchez González’s introduction to the book, in which she explains why she chose the story for the collection.

Also in the next issue, Yasmin Tirado-Chiodini brings us an excerpt from her historical novel Antonio’s Will. In 1914, Antonio Pontón, a Puerto Rican student at Albany Law School in New York, murdered his love interest and attempted suicide, becoming the first Puerto Rican and Hispanic person executed on the electric chair in the United States. She posits that he was wrongfully executed at the Sing Sing Prison in 1916, after an unfair trial, failed appeals, and thousands of petitions. The piece contains excerpts based on Tirado-Chiodini’s years of research on Antonio Pontón, his family, the events surrounding the murder and his unfair trial.

And finally, former Centro researcher and literary scholar Consuelo Martínez-Reyes has written a book review of Revolving-Door Life Writing: Literature and Cinema of Puerto Rican Women by Christin Freyer. Martínez-Reyes discusses the overall aim of the book, which analyzes literature written by a minority group within the U.S., more specifically Puerto Rican women writers and filmmakers. The book was published in 2013 by Universitätsverlag Winter Heidelberg as part of their monograph series on American Studies.

Make sure you do not miss our next issue, which comes out on October 21. To receive Centro Voices on your email follow this link subscribe-centro-voices. To learn about how to contribute your work, contact centro.voices@hunter.cuny.edu. Follow Centro on social media (@centropr) for the latest news and join the conversation using #centrovoices.