The Big Read Blog (Archive)

FROM PAULETTE’S DESK

May 5, 2009
Washington, DC

Since I missed a chance to wish you a Happy Star Wars day yesterday (May the fourth be with you!),  I wanted to make sure that Cinco de Mayo didn't go by unremarked. Contrary to popular opinion, it turns out that Cinco de Mayo isn't Mexican Independence Day, but instead -- according to my quick Google search -- it commemorates Mexico's 1862 victory over the French in a war that eventually resulted in France's (brief) conquering of Mexico in 1864.

The Big Read started the celebration a little early -- a couple of years early in fact -- with the addition of Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories to The Big Read library. Created especially for The Big Read -- the program's first outing with short fiction -- the anthology offers a literary look at life across the border. As editor Jorge F. Hernanez noted in his introduction, "[P] erhaps the short story is the vehicle best suited for rendering snapshot scenes, actual places, words that have been shared by generations or forgotten by time, and above all, flesh-and-blood portraits of Mexicans...whose biographies are eternal, precisely because they've been read."

Read more from our literary neighbors on The Big Read Web site.