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Anchor 1
No Light From Heaven

"I'm so glad I recently sat down with "No Light From Heaven," book # 3 of your incredible opus. What a compelling story, fascinating characters, clear, unimpeded writing, first-rate dialogue, and provocative insights.  A sort of Jewish/Italian response to The Sun Also Rises but I liked your wanderers ever so much more. Marlena belongs in the pantheon of truly unforgettable harridans, … in the summer of her life. ("Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from {her womb?”) … My response to her was always intense, often angry, even hostile, and I couldn't take my eye off her. Kudos! But she is only one of the many treats in store for your readers. Mazal tov on such a heady artistic achievement. I can't wait to read more-- and Lord knows, there's more! Finally, a very interesting question as to who you were before and during that marriage. …  "O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! " …  I kept thinking you were trying to become "the new man," a guy who wouldn't mind his wife's serial homosexual dalliances" but doing that turned out to be impossible-- especially with her such a force of nature…" - Email from Dick Goldberg, Playwright and screen writer. Author of Family Business.

Romance and Heartbreak at the Dawn of the Hippie Era

By Antonio Zavala

The sexual revolution of the 1960s plays havoc with the two main characters in Marc Zimmerman’s excellent and most readable of novels, No Light From Heaven, published in 2020. Mel and Marlena meet, fall in love, live together and eventually marry as they try to make their relationship work, but Marlena’s will to power and sexual exploration send Mel into a tailspin of despair and doubt.

Beginning in the San Francisco Bay Area at a time when everything held dear and clear  is  challenged or debunked, this novel shows how differences in age, ethnic background, ideas, values, and sexual orientation begin to set a couple adrift from their initial hopes and ambitions. Mel begins the story as a 22 year-old Jewish American grad student, trying to  become a writer; Marlena, a charismatic Italian American six years his senior and with a lesbian past, experiments with male-female love, but eventually seeks work that sets her up for extra-marital affairs usually involving women more than men.

Eventually moving from L.A. to Oregon, Mexico, and Europe, and finally to San Diego as a gateway to Mexico once again, the book anticipates its author’s future Latino focus, as it portrays the couple’s loose sense of wanderlust, their urge to travel and seek faraway places even as some of the key events and figures of the era emerge as they travel and struggle.  The Cuban missile crisis, Joan Baez , Ray Charles and The Beatles. the Free Speech movement  and Mariko Savio at UC-Berkley, the deaths of John Kennedy and Malcolm X are all present, even as the anti-war, civil rights and feminist movements soon begin to empower Marlena to reaffirm her core desires but leave Mel unable to cope her ever-more compulsive search for women, as the story leads to the couple’s separation and divorce. 

Zimmerman stands as a post-Beat and pre-Hippie writer of talent, integrity, and courage. His book is one of his most memorable works of “memoir fiction”—one that should be reprinted and made available throughout the country to as many readers as possible.


ANTONIO ZAVALA is a journalist and writer from Chicago. He has worked for Spain’s EFE News Service. He has just completed a book of short stories titled An Old Man, in a Dry Season, Waiting for Rain and is looking for an interested publisher.  For his previous published books , see the Chicago Mexican segment of this website.

Anchor 2
Coyote’s Song: Collected Poems and Selected Art

“Carlos Cortéz surpassed the limitations imposed by class, race, nation-state, and patriarchy to become a beloved poet, artist, healer, and thinker. Most of us young Chicano revolutionaries and Indigenous wisdom seekers came to him broken, on our knees; Carlos had forged a road we rose to stand on. Carlos also represented this truth: find your own path. He was the elder of the deep soul radical way—and I was a student, fleeting perhaps, but still shaped by his uniquely powerful example.”Luis J. Rodriguez, activist and writer, including the memoir “Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.” 


“Here is a voice that decries the alienation that comes with living in a one-sided and fixed political and economic system, pitting the common people against the natural beauty of our world, where "the motorists do not know/a flock of birds fly overhead/nor do they care." His poignant observations of the class that does all the dirty work, from digging mines and sewers, to fighting wars waged for the rich and powerful; which makes this collection a vital piece of literature that may never be taught in most schools, but should be. All the more reason to read and share with our younger generations the art and poetry of Carlos Cortéz.”Richard Vargas, author of "How a Civilization Begins" and "Leaving a tip at the Blue Moon Motel.​"

Mexican and Chicano Literature in Chicago
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“Mixing a keen sense of history, ethnic, regional and gender differences, as well as a feel for literary intertextualities, Zimmerman’s book both deepens and extends Latino and general comparative literary studies in ways which enrich the study of a particular locale and the written works which emerge therein and points to refigurations and transformations in the overall field of literary and cultural production. He not only relates Chicago to Southwest Chicano writing, he also points to U.S. and worldwide connections—to Luis Valdez, Tomás Rivera, Ron Arias, Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherrié Moraga, but also to non-Chicano U.S. writers like Emily Dickinson, James T. Farrell, Sherwood Anderson, Saul Bellow, Bob Dylan, William Carlos Williams, Eugene O’Neill, John Nichols, D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Loraine Hansberry, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Then there’s Sophocles and Euripides, François Villon, Cervantes, and Shakespeare, Rhys and Nin, Brecht and Genet—along with such Latin American writers as Borges, Cortázar, García Márquez, Palés Matos, and many others. All this as Zimmermanh maintains a theory-honed focus on U.S. Mexican and Chicano history, politics, sociology and cultural studies; all this and still more in this stunning, culminating effort by a veteran award-winning writer on Latin American and Latino themes.”  Guillermo Simbolov, Guatemalan Critic

Tales from the Barrio and Beyond

Cuentos del Barrio y de Mas Alla

Anchor 4

"Barrio tales is a warm-hearted collection of short stories on memory, love, and loss told with compassion, humor and wit. Moving from Puerto Rico to barrios across the US, each story is a gem that captures the sights, sounds, smells, spirit, and emotions of a community on the move from the island to the diaspora. Irma María Olmedo has a keen ear for dialogue and is an original and inventive storyteller. Anyone interested in the immigrant experience will love these stories."  Dr. Lourdes Torres, Editor, Latino Studies, Vincent de Paul Professor, Department of Latin American and LatinoStudies, DePaul University

"Esta colección afectiva de historias aborda la memoria, el amor, y la pérdida, relatadas con compasión y humor. Las historias se trasladan desde Puerto Rico a los barrios de Estados Unidos, capturando los paisajes, sonidos, olores, el espíritu, y las emociones de una comunidad migrante desde la Isla hasta la diáspora. Olmedo se destaca por su habilidad al crear diálogos, y su originalidad como una cuentista inventiva. Estos cuentos son una joya que le encantarán a cualquier persona interesada en las experiencias migratorias."  Dr. Lourdes Torres, Editora, Latino Studies Journal, Vincent de Paul Professor, DePaul University

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