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Book reviews for "Villanueva,_Alma_Luz" sorted by average review score:

Luna's California Poppies
Published in Paperback by Bilingual Pr (Bilrp) (2002)
Author: Alma Luz Villanueva
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'Poppies' tells girl's story of survival
This is an excerpt of a review by Rigoberto Gonzalez which appeared in the El Paso Times, January 19, 2003...
"Written in diary form and framed by the voices of Luna Luz Villalobos as a child and as an adult, Alma Luz Villanueva's "LUNA'S CALIFORNIA POPPIES" spans a period of nearly two decades to tell the compelling story of a woman seeking safety and strength through the power of her own writing...
The recent death of her grandmother compels Luna to find consolation in a diary through which she talks to la Virgen de Guadalupe. La Virgen becomes Luna's new confidant, thus the entries convey a private conversation between school friends at a sleepover and not necessarily prayer as Luna confides: 'And don't forget every thing I say here is true so I'm hiding this and don't forget- DON'T TELL GOD ANY THING!!!'...
With "LUNA'S CALIFORNIA POPPIES," Villanueva continues her exploration of women surviving the tense-filled nexus where race, class and gender connect. The book is in excellent company beside her award-winning novels "THE ULTRAVIOLET SKY" and "NAKED LADIES."
For its epistolary form and bravery of subject matter, this novel invokes Alice Walker's "THE COLOR PURPLE." But "LUNA'S CALIFORNIA POPPIES" earns its own place as a testament to the healing and spiritual powers of nature, friendship and language.

Cleverly crafted, reader engaging
The first half of Luna's California Poppies by Alma Luz Villanueva is the story of twelve-year old Luna, a girl who is deserted by her mother and taken into the home of a kind stranger who provides her with food, shelter, and security -- and who also encourages her to read, write, and study. The second half of this outstanding novel (which is written in the form of a diary), showcase's Luna's move to the country with her family. Now being a mother herself, Luna muses on her past as she and her own children find themselves confronted with bigotry. Luna's California Poppies is a cleverly crafted, reader engaging, and highly recommended novel from beginning to end.

Published in Paperback by Bilingual Pr (Bilrp) (1998)
Author: Alma Villanueva
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Some info
Poems from this collection have appeared in "THE BEST AMERICAN POETRY,1996", "THE WORLD'S BEST POETRY" as well as high school textbooks in this country, and is used as a college textbook in this country and abroad.

Planet With Mother, May I?
Published in Paperback by Bilingual Pr (Bilrp) (1997)
Author: Alma Luz Villanueva
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Some info
This book of poetry won the Latin American Book Award, New York City, 1994- it's used as a textbook in this country and around the world- and it has the long, narrative poem, "Mother, May I?"-also, poems from this have been chosen for high school textbooks.

Published in Paperback by Wings Press (2002)
Author: Alma Luz Villanueva
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Transformations, animal imagery fill Villanueva's collection
This is an excerpt from a review in the El Paso Times, April 20, 2003..."In her essay 'Some Notes on the Organic Form,' the late poet Denise Levertov stated: 'A religious devotion to the truth, to the splendor of the authentic, involves the writer in a process rewarding in itself, but when that devotion brings us to undreamed abysses and we find ourselves sailing over them and landing on the other side--that's ecstasy.'"
This spiritual transcendence is just one of the many discoveries in Alma Luz Villanueva's collection of poetry, "VIDA", a book worthy of that title because it's a celebration of life, its magnificent origins and deeply personal ends.
Villanueva's body of work sponsors the notion of a universal community, in which the citizens of the earth, the primordial home, must act as caretakers for each other. The speaker, in a Whitmanesque voice, declares: I am the ancestor/of my self and millions,/yes, million- my family/of strangers, we birth/our selves century after/century...
Sacred symbolism informs the work, in homage to the poet's Yaqui lineage...Indeed, Villanueva's book is fertile territory, rich and blossoming with her distinctive voice and essential vision."

Weeping Woman: La Llorona and Other Stories
Published in Paperback by Bilingual Pr (Bilrp) (1997)
Author: Alma Luz Villanueva
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realllllllly good
I thought this book was really good. My favortie story was The Sand Castle because I thought it was neat the way that the author told it in a futuristic way about a world with global warming!

Ultraviolet Sky
Published in Hardcover by Bilingual Pr (Bilrp) (1997)
Author: Alma Luz Villanueva
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Some info
This novel won the American Book Award, 1989- was chosen for New American Writing, 1990- and is used as a textbook in this country and abroad.

A Powerful Read
Picture a cave and, on the walls of the cave, paint, seeping through to the other side, a future unseen by most. Reading The Ultraviolet Sky is like taking a walk through such a cave, and the story that bleeds through to the other side is one of survival.Rosa, a painter, has determined that although she loves her husband Julio, she will not sacrifice herself to a destructive relationship with him. She cannot tolerate his jealousy. amd she will not allow the psychological wounds he inflicts on her to kill her spirit. She is a woman with a lot of spirit, and she knows that if that spirit is denied, she will kill the one who stifles it. Rather than kill Julio, she leaves him. A Chicana, Rosa struggles against the limits of social roles while she draws strength from the myths of her culture. Rosa also draws from the power of her own dreams nad sometimes from the stories of her grandmother to regain her hold on herself. As she pulls away from Julio and literally moves from the city to the mountains, she creates a space for herself, where all of her can live. This includes her painting, her intense sensuality, and her longing for a deep and secure sexuality. In refusing to give up her freedom, Rosa also loses her close friend Sierra who seems unwilling to understand the depths of Rosa's needs. Perhaps Sierra is afraid to recognize her own needs. Impatient with her friend's reluctance, Rosa is saddened by the knowledge that she will be more alone than she had anticipated in her journey. Like Lily Briscoe, Rosa struggles for her vision, but unlike Virginia Woolf's painter in To the Lighthouse, Rosa has her vision and her child. Villanueva offers the reader the opportunity to see how a woman can be both mother and artist, neither losing herself nor her life. This contemporary novel, by one of the best Latinas writing today, offers a thrilling response to Woolf's Briscoe and Kate Chopin's Edna Pontellier as it gives its readers in times that beg for new ways of seeing a vision we can use to move forward in our own lives.

Her voice comes from a deep reserve of personal power...
To her first novel,Alma Luz Villanueva brings the poet's divination for image and inernal logic, expressed in a series of dream sequences that hauntingly conclude each section and alter the hard forms of reality like a watercolor wash applied last. It's a fitting metaphor for her painter protagonist, Rosa, who embodies the modern feminist Chicana woman's struggle for self-definition in the male-centered Mexican culture as well as in the larger patriarchal culture....Rosa must reject the terms of possession (surrender and exploitation) in order to sustain her hopes for the futue she gives her children to. The protagonist has in her mind a painting she cannot finish, a composition of balance and infinite harmonies. Villanueva's ultraviolet sky is overhead for all of us.

Naked Ladies
Published in Hardcover by Bilingual Pr (Bilrp) (1994)
Author: Alma Luz Villanueva
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A wonderful surprise
I stumbled upon this book while working in a library, and happened to read the first paragraph. After that I took it home and couldn't stop reading. Naked Ladies is a very good book. It's an interesting story chronicling the journey of the main character, Alta, in her struggle for self empowerment; as well as a study in the intersections between race, gender, and sexuality. I would especially recommend it for anyone interested in women's studies or Chicana literature.

Some info
'NAKED LADIES' won the PEN-Oakland Fiction Award, 1994- as the reviewer for the Los Angeles Times stated: "One of the most inspiring elements of this novel is the wonderful portrayal of strong women."

Related Subjects: Author Index

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