The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans [2009 Co-Winner]

The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans                 Written by Carmen Tafolla

Book Synopsis:

In this wonderfully creative collection of sixteen short stories, Tafolla brings to life the bilingual/bicultural world of the Texas-Mexico border. As in her previous works, Tafolla celebrates the resilient human spirit of her characters amidst the prejudice and hypocrisy, the faith and magic, and the family, and community that are part of this world. The stories are poignant, even tragic, and they are funny, filled with humor. Tafolla’s energy is felt throughout. As Carmen herself says, “ It’s about those things that are really holy and miraculous, but it’s also about those very common, underappreciated blessings, like a homemade pot of beans.”

Dr. Carmen Tafolla, a native of San Antonio, is an internationally acclaimed writer, poet, performer, and educational consultant. She has developed a reputation as a folklorist of the Chicano-Mexicano community. Described by Alex Haley as a ‘world class writer,’ she has published poetry, screenplays, children’s books, short stories and articles. Her work has appeared in over 200 anthologies, and she has performed her one-woman show, “My Heart Speaks a Different Language.” In addition to the Rivera Award winning book, The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans, she has also published other recent children’s books, What Can You Do with a Rebozo? , and What Can You Do with a Paleta?. Another recent children’s book features the activist who stood up for the pecan shellers of San Antonio in the 1930s, That’s Not Fair!: Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice/¡No es Justo!: La Lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la Justicia (2008). Tafolla earned her Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1999, she was awarded the Art of Peace Award for writing which furthered peace, justice, and human understanding. Her work has been recognized at the Texas Book Festival, UCI National Literary Competition, and the Wellington International Poetry Festival.


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