I am a once depressed Chicano writer. You may have read my other published books: Under the Same Sky and Butterfly Warrior. But, long before I was able to write either of them, I had to figure some stuff out and if I hadn’t figured that stuff out, I wouldn’t have become a once depressive Chicano writer; i would’ve just remained a really depressed and depressing dude.
Journey to Aztlan does four (4) things that sets it apart, it:
- Redefines Aztlan
- Bends the rules within the autobiographical genre
- Tells an inspirational love story; and most importantly,
- Provides the reader insight into what it means to be human.
I wrote this book because whenever I’m doing readings or trainings or teaching, the question that seems to arise most often is, “how did you become a writer?” It seemed like a question I couldn’t ignore and when I thought about it, the process started when I was a kid trying to figure out my place in the world and continued all the way through a whole bunch of messes. When I started documenting and arranging the stories that formed me into a writer, I realized that anyone can find the source of goodness in themselves that I came to know as Aztlan.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the Chicano Movement or with Chicano literature, Aztlan was a literal place that was comprised of the southwestern U.S. that was claimed from Mexico after the Mexican-American War. The Chicano Movement sought to reclaim this land as the Chicano Nation-State of Aztlan. I was brought up as a “Chicano,” but I never really knew what that meant. So, I started reading everything I could about the Chicano Movement, and I still do. But, in writing Journey to Aztlan, I found that Aztlan, for me, wasn’t about land or politics, it was about defining my place in the world as a human being. The source of my humanity is an internal place that I know as Aztlan and I’ve learned that all people have a similar place inside themselves from which creation can flow.
The Rules Bender
Most memoirs and autobiographies are told in the first person. Journey to Aztlan uses point of view as part of the storytelling narrative that I think really gets the reader in touch with the experiences presented within its pages. Really, it reads like a novel and can be consumed in one sitting, as it doesn’t ramble on past its welcome. In short, it’s a non-fiction book that is actually both literary and fun to read.
An Inspirational Love Story
In today’s world, there’s a enough cynicism and cruelty. Journey to Aztlan is at its core a love story that progressed along the three part trajectory:
- Confusion, which led to depression
- Acceptance, which led to a fulfilling writing life
- Love, which led to the source in humanity from which all that’s good emerges: Aztlan.
Journey to Aztlan will make a difference in readers’ lives: I know Journey to Aztlan will find an audience within all humanity and will reward its readers with an enlightening and enriching literary experience.
For more information or to purchase, Please visit Juan Blea Amazon Author Page