'Tis the season for new Los Angeles-focused releases — and the week for book parties — with the Times Festival of Books on tap this coming weekend. "Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature" lands officially today. Salvador Plascencia, John Rechy, Sandra Ramos O'Briant, Luis J. Rodríguez and a deep list of other Latino authors are represented. Editor Daniel A. Olivas posts at La Bloga that "this landmark anthology brings to life the Latino denizens of Southern California." He writes in the book's introduction:
The stories and novel excerpts sandwiched in between “Kid Zopilote” and the excerpt from Chicano bring us to modern-day Latino denizens of Los Angeles and the city’s surrounding communities. And what a complex and diverse group of people we observe: young and old, gay and straight, rich and poor, the newly arrived and the well established. There’s a Cuban American screenwriter trying to pitch the “real” story behind the Bay of Pigs fiasco. We see a Mexican woman struggling with barrio life who believes she’s seen a miracle. There are youths trying to avoid gang life and others embracing it. And we’re introduced to aggressive journalists, cement pourers, disaffected lovers, drunken folklórico dancers, successful curanderos, teenage slackers, aging artists, wrestling saints, aimless druggies, people made of paper, college students, and even a private detective hot on the heels of a presumed-dead gonzo writer.