In the second day of our round-up of our 2015 books we see 3 more books that continue to treat the Basque experience in the United States.
Koldo San Sebastian, Argitxu Camus Etchecopar, et al.
The Basques in the United States is a long-term project to gather and publish information about first-generation Basque immigrants to the United States. The first fruit of this project has been published in July 2015 in two volumes (one for Araba, Bizkaia, and Gipuzkoa, the other for Iparralde and Nafarroa) and contains the most comprehensive listing of Basque immigrants to the United States that has been made until now. Entries are listed arranged by the town or region of origin of the Basque immigrant and are cross-referenced by last name. An updated edition is being published in December of 2015 and plans are already in the works for further additions to increase the number of names that are included and the quality and depth of information that has been found about each person. To this end, the researchers and the Center are looking for the public’s help. We also publish a website basquesintheUS.blogs.unr.edu where the public is encouraged to help us enrich the information that has been gathered. With the help of dedicated researchers and the public at large we hope to grow this comprehensive listing of the Basques who ventured across the Atlantic to make a new life into a lasting testament to as many of those brave people who made the long and difficult trek to a strange land that soon became home for many.
Hollywood and I and Mad City, Javi Cillero
Bringing together of 2 collections of short stories, in this book Basque writer Javi Cillero, looks mainly at US culture from they eyes of world weary, well educated, but ultimately disoriented protagonists. The caretaker of a collection of exotic animals embarks on a dangerous relationship with a mobster’s girlfriend; the tragedy of Oediupus is retold as a Western with a happy ending; revenge is wreaked on a Bilbao art dealer for his past transgressions. In these two short story collections–“Hollywood and I” and “Mad City,” brought together here and published in English fro the first time, Javi Cillero creates an astonishing variety of different worlds: Basque cities and a city of the West; the Nevada desert; jetliners, trains, cars, ferries; classic cinema and Greek myths and legends; and much much more. All are written into existence with a distinctive voice that blends noir fiction and dark humor. These stories generally tell the stories of outsiders, and it is no coincidence that thus the city of Reno, Nevada, also forms a central heart of many stories: like them, it is a place of missed connections, of sad and broken histories, and yet has the capacity for the human spirit to persevere against the odds. The characters here are just as varied as the stories themselves: witnesses and students, cowboys and art dealers, outsiders and insiders and blends of the two. The stories almost defy summary in the incredible flowering of their imaginary worlds, just as desert flowers surprise with their splash of color in the otherwise gray sagebrush steppe.