Feria [Virtual] del Libro: Libros imprescindibles para empezar a conocer la historia de la inmigración española en EEUU; Categoría: Memorias e historias orales-
Virtual Book Fair: must-read books for anyone interested in understanding the history of Spanish immigration to the US. Category: Memoirs and Oral Histories.
1.) Anne Aguilar Santucci’s “Memories of Spain” (seen above) focuses on the Spanish immigrant community in and around Rocklin, California, with valuable information about the Hawaiian saga. Hard-to-find, but worth seeking out.
2.) Claude Morell, “The Lower East Side Kid That Made It Good.”
Recuerdos de de los años ’30, ’40 y ’50 en el enclave étnico entre los puentes Brooklyn y Manhattan/ Memoirs of growing up in the 1930s, 40s and 50s in the mutii-ethnic (and Spanish) enclave between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
3.) Elaine Vila, “Mama Remembers: A reflection into our past as told to me by my mother.” Tampa stories, recommended by Cynthia Carreño Alessi.
4.) “Santander to Barre: Life in a Spanish Family in Vermont will not deal with dates and numbers, heroes or statesmen, as most histories do, but instead will be a personal collection of memories –random thoughts –trivia– that may recall for some the sights, sounds and perhaps even the smells of those years…?” –From the Introduction. By Elisabeth Ramon Bacon.
5.) Luz Damron [née Díaz]: “The Rifton Hotel: A Summer Place.” A memoir written by the daughter of the asturiano owners of the Rifton Hotel in NY.
6.)Prudencio de Pereda, “Windmills in Brooklyn.” (1960). Kirkus Review: “Prudencio de Pereda’s third book, though slight, is an altogether delightful reminiscence of what is was like to live in a special world in Brooklyn during the late twenties and thirties. Told from the viewpoint of the young narrator growing up in the Spanish colony situated, then, around the Borough Hall section, the book falls into two parts. The first part called Agapito is about Agapito Lopez, a good-hearted confidence man who was a professional teveriano — a dealer in cheap cigars which he sold to the unwary at exorbitant prices. There was a kind of justice, though, in Agapito’s trade of which he was not unaware: his customers were usually victims of their own avarice. It was the narrator’s own grandmother who had persuaded Agapito, as an immigrant, to become a teveriano. He was bright and quick and had a natural audacity which soon made him prosperous and by way of repaying the narrator’s grandparents Agapito often took the young boy with him “”on business”” and gave him half the loot. But Agapito was almost too good; his neighbors disapproved of his unusual success and felt that his eventual misfortunes were only what he deserved. Part Two is called The Good Pair and is the term which the narrator’s grandfather used to describe himself and the boy. The Good Pair recounts the 16 year old boy’s love affair with the beautiful widow Martinez, his grandfather’s attempts to secure the famous dancer Manolin, who turned out to be hugely fat, for the annual fiesta, and, later, to the young man, grandmother reveals herself to be a woman of touching warmth and persuasiveness. It was said of grandfather that he was a man of ideals, like Don Quixote. But, as grandmother observed, there are “”no windmills in Brooklyn.”
7.) Gloria López’s lovely “An American Paella,” book and DVD, focusing on the Spanish community in and around Winters, California.