HOUSTON, TX June 2014—Three titles published by Arte Público Press were honored at the 16th annual International Latino Book Awards ceremony held during the American Library Association’s annual conference on June 28, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The awards honor literary excellence in a variety of categories and are sponsored by Latino Literacy Now, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes literacy and literary excellence within the Latino community.
Our Lost Border: Essays on Life Amid the Narco-Violence, edited by Sarah Cortez and Sergio Troncoso, won First Place in the Best Spanish or Bilingual Latino Focused Nonfiction Book category. This collection contains personal essays in English and Spanish that deal with the impact of drug violence on people living along the Texas-Mexico border.
Desperado: A Mile-High Noir, by author and attorney Manuel Ramos, won an Honorable Mention in the Best Mystery Novel category. Ramos returns to novel-length crime fiction with a down-on-his-luck protagonist, Gus Corral, who is caught up in an investigation of the murder of an old high school friend, Artie. An investigation into Artie’s involvement in the gentrification of Denver’s north side leads to harrowing encounters with dangerous criminals, both from the area and south of the border.
Alidis Vicente’s debut novel, The Missing Chancleta and Other Top-Secret Cases / La chancleta perdida y otros casos secretos, won First Place in the Best Spanish or Bilingual Youth Chapter Fiction Book category. Detective Flaca—a pale, scrawny second grader—doesn’t usually allow civilians to read her confidential case files, but readers willing to sign a confidentiality agreement are in luck!
Latino Literacy Now created the International Latino Book Awards in 1999 to recognize the many positive contributions being made to Latino literature by publishers and writers worldwide. The title of the awards was changed to the International Latino Books Awards in 2006 to reflect the nominations of literary works from Mexico, Latin America, and Spain.
Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity.