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Martín-Rodríguez Wins International Latino Book Award

August 26, 2015

Manuel M. Martín-RodríguezUC Merced Professor Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez recently won a 2015 International Latino Book Award for “With a Book in Their Hands: Chicano/a Readers and Readerships,” which beat six other finalists in the category of Best Latino Focused Nonfiction Book.

The book stems from research conducted after Martín-Rodríguez’s 2003 text “Life in Search of Readers,” in which he suggested that Chicano/a literature has been shaped as much by its readers as it has by its authors.  

In a quest to collect hard evidence behind this idea, Martín-Rodríguez developed the Chicano/a Literature Intertextual Database (CLID), which includes more than 40,000 entries detailing the connection of Chicano/a books to other literary traditions; the Chicano/a Readers Oral Project (CROP), a collection of interviews with people of Mexican origin recounting their experiences with reading and print culture; and the Chicano/a Private Library Index to catalog and analyze private and family book collections.  

“With a Book in Their Hands” pulls from the oral project by including interviews from UC Merced graduates and undergraduates. It also uses the Chicano/a Private Library Index to dedicate an entire chapter to the family library of New Mexico Territory Governor Miguel A. Otero. 

UC Merced Professor Ignacio López-Calvo was also a finalist in the Best Latino Nonfiction Book category and earned an honorable mention for “Dragons In the Land of the Condor.”