Happy International Workers’ Day! Hard to believe it’s been a year since my last blog post. I recently joined Twitter and Instagram @SElizondoGriest, and am much better at keeping those updated, so join me there, if you’d like.
One reason for my absence is I’ve been buried in my next book, and am thrilled to share that I handed in the first draft in December and am adding the finishing touches now. It picks up right where Mexican Enough left off, making it the last of the trilogy commenced with Around the Bloc. Called All the Agents & Saints, it examines the existential impact of having an international borderline slice your ancestral land in two, as experienced by Tejanos in South Texas and the Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne, which is located along the New York/Canada borderline. Like my previous books, it blends memoir, travel writing, and literary journalism in a journey that is both personal and political. UNC Press will publish it in April 2017, and I’ll be spending much of the fall on tour, so check back for details in the coming months.
I’ve also started researching my next book, about women artists around the globe who let nothing stand in the way of their creative pursuits. In ten days (eep!) I’m leaving on a two-month tour of Romania, Spain, California, New York, and Rwanda to interview rock star women who have made great strides in music, dance, literature, visual art, and theater despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. If you have any ideas on artists to consider, drop me a line! The Believer will be publishing my first chapter about the classical Indian dance troupe Nrityagram (whom you met in an earlier post) in their next issue, so I’ll be sending along an announcement about that soon.
I will conclude this post with a few snapshots of 2015-2016, a year which took me to Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, the Mediterranean, California, New York, Texas, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Peru, and most recently Canada. (Follow me on Instagram for a quicker turnaround on this summer’s travels!) Meanwhile, I want to extend gratitude to all of you for your support. Here’s wishing you joy as spring turns to summer. Saludos!
My first literary festival en espanol! I presented at the Festival de la Lectura Chacao in Caracas, Venezuela as part of a literary tour sponsored by the International Writing Program and U.S. State Department.
Tears were shed with these profoundly inspiring students and professors at the Universidad Central Venezuela. It is such a difficult time in their country, yet they have tremendous spirit.
The lost civilization of Tiwanaku, Bolivia.
Street art in Cartagena, Colombia.
Ecstatic first glimpse of Machu Picchu on New Year’s Day, shortly before a condor swooped by.