It’s Time to Take California Back from Joan Didion

The first lady of West Coast letters needs to share that honor with the Mexican diaspora

By Myriam Gurba
FROM: Electric Lit

yannick-van-der-auwera-LpGt-TarYMk-unsplash-scaled-e1589216653613Amado Vazquez, a Mexican botanist, named an orchid after Joan Didion. While that was a chic gesture, I don’t think of her as an orchid. I think of her as an onion. She’s very white, very crisp, and she makes people cry.

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Erased History, Forgotten Communities

Viramontes’ passion for bringing erased communities to the forefront of literature and history has materialized into several acclaimed literary works.

By Jackie Swift
FROM: research.cornell.edu

downloadHelena María Viramontes, English, brings people and places erased from history to life again. For years, she has focused her lens on the Latino experience in the United States, writing award-winning fiction that draws from her own heritage as a Chicana from Los Angeles. In her latest novel-in-progress, The Cemetery Boys, she explores the experiences of three generations of East Los Angelenos mired in three different wars. During this exploration, she highlights the mix of ethnicities and marginalized communities that flourished and then faded away in the California of the early-to-mid twentieth century.

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