Wednesday, April 17, 2024

An Interview with Ralph Inzunza, Author of Xopan Brooks’s "Border Citizen"

Ralph Inzunza is the author of The Camp and Border Citizen. Armed with political experience as a Democratic political consultant, his books focus on struggles against the political system. "Border Citizen" is published and available for sale on Amazon or directly through Xopan Books our new young adult imprint. This interview was conducted in February of 2024 by Toki Lee, senior editor and marketing associate of SDSU Press. This is a lightly edited version of the interview; a full, unabridged version can be found on YouTube.

* * *

SDSU Press: Please introduce yourself and your new book in as many or few words as you'd like.

Inzunza: My name is Ralph Inzunza, and I am the new author of this book right here called Border Citizen [editorial associate holds up book] yeah! there you go! Toki has it! It's a great project that I was lucky enough to do with Dr. Bill Nericcio from SDSU Press and with Nayeli Castañeda-Lechuga, who was my editor, who also is an alumn of San Diego State and has worked for Dr. Bill Nericcio. So, we put out this young adult book; it's the first with the Xopan Book imprint—that is the young adult series for SDSU Press—and I'm very proud of it and very proud of the team. I think we did a good job.

SDSU Press: It's a very lovely book, I've had the opportunity to read it and the dialogue is very snappy, the characters are very well-characterized; it was nice reading a YA book in a long time—this was a great introduction back to the genre.

This is your second novel, with the first being The Camp. Border Citizen differs in a couple of ways—like I just mentioned, it is a YA novel. I wanted to know how this being marked as a YA novel changed your writing experience; was it difficult writing a younger character as opposed to The Camp? Did you use any personal references?

Inzunza: The Camp is an adult fictional book, and—so, you know—you can just write like the age that you are. When I wrote The Camp, I was 48 years old and so I wrote it like I was, you know, 47-48 years old and the language is there—and it's colorful language, not really appropriate for teenagers, and so when I started writing this book, I was cognizant of the fact that I want this book to be in classrooms. I want this book to be in high schools and middle schools, maybe colleges. I didn't want to have a bunch of tough language or cursing or sex or violence. So, yeah, you take a different approach when you know—hey, these are 14 to 15 year olds that are going to read this and you want to get a message across, but you want to do it in a manner that's respectable to them, their parents, and the teachers.

SDSU Press:
That's something I've noticed when you bring up
classrooms: the main character's father of this book—the one who's running for office, I believe—is a schoolteacher and I've also noticed from the back of the book that your wife is also a schoolteacher. Was education and getting this to classrooms a big focus of the novel?

It is, and it's the primary reason I wrote it, for it to be in classrooms. I do not believe this is going to be a bestseller at Barnes and Noble, or even on Amazon—you know, selling one book at a time from people in Wisconsin or Florida. Stephen King has nothing to worry about!

SDSU Press: [laughs]

Inzunza: That wasn't the reason I did this. I did it primarily because I have 2 kids that just graduated from high school and, as they were going through middle school and high school and I would look at their literature or history books, I didn't see a lot of books that talked about the Latino experience, or that were multicultural enough, whether it dealt with African-Americans, or Asians, gay, Latinos—I didn't see enough of those books. So, I wrote this book based on some experiences I had, but also to educate some younger minds about how things used to be; the discrimination that took place along the border, and the people, and how Latinos eventually entered the political arena and decided to run for office. That's why I wrote it: I want the next generation to at least have a base as to how things occurred and why things are the way they are today. So yes, I wrote it with the idea that this book would be in classrooms.

SDSU Press:
Speaking of Latino representation, both politically and in the literary field, I think—I'm not sure if, for the audience, this is a well known fact—but you were in the political field for quite some time, and in terms of politics and the literary field, did you find that representation and fighting for representation in both were similar, or were they different? Did you have to incorporate different ways of representation into one or the other?

Inzunza: Yes and no. I think the one thing I told Dr. Nericcio—and I might have told Nayeli, my editor—is that I don't think I'm a good writer. I'm a good storyteller. I'm a politician—a recovering politician. When you're a politician, you're telling stories all the time—most of them truthful—but you are telling stories, and you're out there, on the stump, giving speeches, trying to get elected, trying to get votes, sway people… So, I basically took some of the storytelling ideas I have, and I just started writing. I think I got mainly C's, maybe a couple of B's, in high school and college English and Literature. So, I'm not a writer. My wife, on the other hand, she's an educator—she's very good at grammar and she can write. I'd like to see her write a book, to be quite honest. I think she'd write a much better book than me.

But I started writing, and I just started writing the way I talk, and the way I would tell a story. So, my idea was to take the protagonist, Carlos Reyes, and he's going to take you through a journey as to what he's experiencing and seeing as a 14 year old growing along the border and trying to figure things out as a new guy who's watching his dad and his parents who are struggling in the activism of the day. At the same time, he's going to school in Mexico, where he's a bit ostracized. He's not accepted as a Latino here, and then when he goes to Mexico, they sorta see him as an American. That's an experience I had growing up. I went to school in Tijuana for 2 years, and I didn't feel like I fit in either side of the border—hence, the title Border Citizen. We don't really feel like we're US citizens or Mexican citizens—we're border citizens. We're Chicanos that try to create our own pathway along the US-Mexican border.

SDSU Press: That's a good point, and I definitely see that reflected in some Asian communities too. If you're born in the United States rather than in Korea, in my example, you're definitely seen more as American than Korean, or even Asian. I think it's a point that definitely resonates with a lot of communities, but especially the Asian and Latino communities you've been talking about.

Inzunza: I have friends in the Asian community who are Korean and gone back to Seoul, Filipino and gone back to Manila, or Japanese and gone back to Tokyo, and their cousins and their families and friends, they try to say "oh, well, you know, you're Americanized. You're from America. You don't know how to eat the food or speak the language. You don't speak Korean perfectly." They make fun of you, and it's supposed to funny, but after a while, it's like "okay, I get it." So, I felt that. I felt like I wasn't Mexican enough, but I got through it.

SDSU Press: For me, definitely reading this book resonated with my own experiences, which is very beneficial for education. Even children who aren't on the border or necessarily Mexican can definitely relate to this book in their own ways, which is just beautiful and fantastic.

I think what we're looking at right now in California—and hopefully across the United States, eventually—is to have ethnic studies at the high school and college level. What I told some of the superintendents and school board members that are starting to purchase this book and putting it into their schools already, is that this is not the only book. This is one of, I hope, to be 30 or 40 books. I want to see the African-American books, and the Asian books, and the feminist books, and the gay books—I want to see a representation of all walks of life. So, this is one in the pile. This isn't the only one by any means. There's a lot of stories by a lot of us in our diverse communities that need to be addressed.

SDSU Press:
It's only one book of the big, hopefully growing, syllabus.

Going back to dialogue, you mentioned that you kind of write like you talk, and I've noticed that a lot of the dialogue is snappy and very realistic. It's very back and forth—did you ever struggle with trying to make dialogue sound realistic or feel realistic?

I am not one to take credit for this book—I did lay out the stories, and then Dr. Nerricio right away saw "okay, you know, there's some things we can work on, some things we can make changes on." Nayeli, my editor, was a tremendous help. She had a lot of good ideas. She really added things that made a difference. My wife also would proofread it and proofread it. It was a team effort. Yeah, the ideas were mine and so was the story in my head, but in order to make it smooth—to be able to transition the dialogue or the different settings or different locations—it's a team effort. There is no good writer out there that doesn't have a good editor, a good publisher, and a team behind them. That's why you always have, at the end of the book—even the best writers!— they're thanking like 17 people, because they know it's an effort. You don't do it by yourself.

SDSU Press: That was fantastic, I think that because the author's name is the first name on the page, the other editors and publishers are neglected, so thank you for mentioning that.

I mention them in my book, I thank them. Right away, if you go to the author's note, you'll see I didn't take all credit for this book.

SDSU Press:
Pivoting ever so slightly, for anyone who doesn't know, this book focuses on, for me, a lot of love, a lot of family, but also about politics and Latino representation about politics, which I know is reflected in your own life. Growing up in a political family, did you find it harder or easier to write this book? Did you find it was easier because of all the personal references, or harder to get all the intricacies correct?

Inzunza: It was both. It was easy in the sense that this was what I lived. If I had lived in, let's say, Hawaii, and I grew up in a surfing community since I was 4 years, and now I'm 50 years old and writing a surf book, people would say "obviously, you know everything about surfing, you know who the legends are, you know the best surf spots," and go on and on.

For me, I grew up in politics. I didn't know any better; both my parents ran for the school board of San Ysidro, where they beat two incumbents, when I was 5 years old. I was in Kindergarten. Since then, I haven't looked back. I'll be 55 this year, so I have 50 years of looking at this. I did want to get a lot of it right, because it really does explain something that happened that is really critical and important to San Diego's history, and for that matter all of the Southwest United States. For a long time, Latinos—as well as so many other groups of people—were activists, and they wanted to change their community. They wanted to stop police brutality, the immigration rage, some of the jobs they weren't able to qualify for, and they did that for many many years. I went to some of those protests and marches with my parents. Eventually, there comes a time when something so dramatic happens that you feel "hey, we have to now take power into our own hands, we just can't rely on others—we have to have one of our own up on the city council." So, they decided to enter the political arena, and so about half of this book is the activism, and then there's an incident that happens—I won't spoil it for our readers—and then we kick off into the political arena. So, all of that is taking place, and that really is how my life was. I mean, this book is based on many realities I lived.
Inzunza at a book signing.

SDSU Press:
Beautifully said. It's grounded in a lot of historical context and political context too, and I'm really happy that none of that was simplified or dumbed down just because it's a YA novel. Other than that, is there anything else you wanted to say or touch upon? Any closing remarks you have?

Inzunza: I feel that I'm really excited about the outreach I've gotten from school boards and teachers. We've sold quite a few books, and we're gonna sell a heck of a lot more. I'm supposed to have about 2 or 3 thousand sold by the end of this year, which is pretty good for a YA book. They say if you can sell a thousand, you can get people's attention and they like it.

The only thing I would say is that I have a third book in the works, which is a sequel to this book. It's Carlos Reyes, and Carlos Reyes is now four years older, and he's entering his first year in college. So, it's about the trials and tribulations that a young kid goes through when entering college, and he's still political, so he's going to get some people to run for office and get involved, and do a whole bunch of different things. I hope to have that book completed and maybe out in a couple years—two or three years,we'll see.

I still have a life trying to pay the rent and pay the mortgage. I run political campaigns for a living, so this is a very busy time of the year for me—the primaries coming up in a couple of weeks, you have the general November… In between running these campaigns, I try to be disciplined and write a couple pages a day and all that. The next book—which I'm calling The Society—which I'll explain in the book, is about Carlos Reyes's first year in college and some of the politics and discrimination issues that go on being a young Latino student, or a person of color in a major university campus.

SDSU Press: Do you think that will also be a YA novel, or do you think it'll grow with your audience and evolve into an adult novel?

I think this one will still be a young adult novel, but on the older aside. I was asked the other day by a teacher what the 2-3 year target age is for Border Citizen, and I said 8th, 9th, and 10th grade. If you forced me to pick one year, I would say 9th graders. I think it's perfect for 9th graders. The next book, I would say 11th, 12th, and first year of college. But, I'm writing it for seniors in high school. The ideal thing would be there are some 9th graders that start school this Fall, and they read it, and by the time they start their senior year, they'll have my next book to read. Here I am wishing for things—you can't control everything—but if I had my druthers, that would be it. There would be a bunch of Fall freshman in high school that will read Border Citizen, and three years later, they'll read The Society. That would be really ideal.

SDSU Press:
We'll be looking out for it, certainly. I hope that SDSU Press will be the ones to be involved in it,

Inzunza: Me too! Tell Dr. Nericcio! You tell Dr. Nericcio!

SDSU Press:
I will, me personally! Thank you so much for being with me, it's been a pleasure talking to you. Anything else you want to say?

Inzunza: I love what you're doing, I think it's so good that you have this blog and put things on YouTube, and you get people talking a little about literature. In this day and age there's so much social media, it's so easy to get caught up on Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, but every now and again, it's okay to open up a good book and enlighten yourself on a subject you may not know all that about. I think what you're doing is healthy and I really thank you for it.

* * *

Purchase "Border Citizen" now through Amazon! 

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Ralph Inzunza Debuts BORDER CITIZEN, Our New XOPAN BOOKS Title in San Francisco!

Check out Ralph Inzunza's community outreach work below. Here are some pictures from his recent reading in San Francisco

Friday, February 02, 2024

From the Depths of SDSU Press: Four Trips to Antiquity (1991)

 Hello, and welcome again, loyal readers. This is Robert Lang, full-time MFA student, SDSU Press editorial assistant, and part-time archeologist. I'm proud to welcome you back to yet another edition of 'FROM THE DEPTHS OF SDSU PRESS'. This week we'll be journeying through ancient Mayan ruins with an artist and anthropologist, but FIRST a bit of modern archaeological anthropology.

Perched above the desk of hardworking Press staffers is what I've come to lovingly refer to as the 'Winnebago of Wonders'.

Where else will you see Godzilla, a moose, a carnivorous dinosaur, Rambo, and Regan on the same bus? Only at SDSU Press!

The 'Winnebago of Wonders' is one the first things that draws the eye of any weary traveller coming across our offices. I ask you, dear reader, what does the 'Winnebago of Wonders' say about our humble little publication? I recently had a colleague and friend ask me, "What is it you do here?" while sitting across from my desk staring directly at our yellow cavalcade of terror and delights. No matter what I responded with, the only thing they were leaving this office with was the image of this bus so amazing that even planes want to get on board. 

Working under these conditions, I hope you understand how much work is required to keep ourselves grounded here at SDSU Press. My outlet is reviewing our catalog with you fine folks. In the spirit of travel, inspired by the 'Winnebago of Wonders', today's publication takes us to Guatemala City and through the ruins of an ancient civilization. Join me as we check out "Four Trips to Antiquity" by Everett Gee Jackson.

Published in 1991

The book opens with preface about Jackson's childhood encounters with thoughts of indigenous peoples and sets the stage for his future artistic urge to continue coming back to Guatemala and the ancient city Copán.

Our first trip with Jackson starts in 1952. There's political turmoil in Guatemala City with bombs exploding constantly. Jackson receives a letter from the Limited Editions Club of New York to illustrate an english edition of the Popol Vuh. The text is an ancient manuscript that is something akin to a religious narrative text of the Kʼicheʼ(spelled Quiché by Jackson) people. The title roughly translates to the 'Book of the People', which is deliciously poetic given the contents of Four Trips to Antiquity. 

Jackson is an artist, not just an artist but an art instructor at none other than our very own San Diego State University. With his journalist wife attached to her work, Jackson is ready to set off for the ancient Mayan city of Copán on a solo adventure...

Until he gets a call from an old friend. His friend's 18 year old son is going to be tagging along. 

I realize this sounds like the setup to a 80s buddy comedy film, but bear with me. 

Craig, the 18-year-old son is one of my favorite characters in literature and to know that he's a real person who existed brings me immense joy. 

What follows in the first three chapters of the book IS an 80s buddy comedy film as Everett and young Craig traverse ancient cities in Honduras and Guatemala with the Guatemalan Revolution as the backdrop. 

There's a great scene in the book where Jackson and Craig are entering their hotel for the first time and there is a loud explosive sound nearby. The clerk tells them there's nothing to worry about as Craig's eyes light up. Later the two have dinner with the hotel owner who tells them they have to keep quiet around the waiters as some of them might by Communist spies. Craig is very excited to be involved with espionage.

I love Craig. 

Jackson is eventually taken to a Quiché village where he witnesses the local culture and the distinct class between the Spanish Christian influence and local traditions. They travel up a steep mountain side to find a stone altar that the locals pray to after sending smoke up to the Christian God. A local religious figure warns Jackson that the locals might not be too happy with him drawing their altar.

On the way up the side of the mountain, Craig wanders off the path to find a big stick to protect Jackson, becoming his de facto body guard. Craig is the best. 

Each description of an artifact, ruin, or structure is accompanied by Jackson's artworks. It's like peering into the mind of artist at work. 

The first two chapters cover Jackson's first time really visiting and taking in the Maya ruins with the intent of painting for the commissioned artwork, but interspersed are his first encounters with a very complicated culture. There's another great sequence set before Jackson and Craig are supposed to set out on a plane ride to another part of Honduras and they stumble across a market full of bananas.

Craig, of course, wants an entire bundle of bananas to bring on their tiny charted plane before Jackson talks him down to just a dozen (Bless you, innocent Craig). While talking to the women who operate the stands, he learns that they don't have many bananas to sell and offer them only a few. This confuses Jackson, initially, realizing that the 'bananas' he was seeing were different types of plantains. This leaves Craig to make a truly philosophical statement, "Not Every Banana is a Banana in Central America". 

As profoundly silly as that may sound, that statement winds being very illustrative of Jackson's further exploits in Guatemala. While he's focused on the history and the art not everything is as it seems in the land. 

Craig makes yet another profound observation "We are in a football field!" before quickly changing his mind. I didn't even mention that he befriends and has a conversation in English with a local who can only speak Spanish. Craig is truly a treasure. 

Jackson describes his process throughout the book, but here is an instance of visualizing it. It's incredibly cool for anyone interested in the creative process.

As the book goes on it follows Jackson back to Guatemala in 1954, 1962, and later 1978. The section covering 1954 is probably the juiciest part of the book covering his time with a San Diego State Anthropologist, an archaeologist, his run in with the Communist presidential candidate Seńor Williams, and his prolonged encounter with an enigmatic Tobacco company representative 'Mr. Smith'. 

The 'Torchman' Carving that inspired the cover painting. 

The book is an incredibly breezy read at 170 pages, and it's manages to tell one of those stories that keeps you wondering what other bizarre and extraordinary encounter is going to happen next. What I love most about it is how it's nested in an appreciation and consideration of the indigenous history, art, and culture. There is admittedly some dated language in the book, but Jackson's writing actually holds up as very approachable.

This book could just as easily sit on your shelf as an art book full of representations of Mayan works, but it comes attached with the somehow more incredible anecdotes of the artist behind them. This is an part-art book, part-adventure story, part-anthropology book. A revolution viewed through the eyes of a wandering artist focused on the past. 

I'd love to gush about it more, but I'm not being paid to shill for this book but it's genuinely something better experienced then discussed, much like any historical site or artwork. 

If nothing else, I say read this book for Craig. He's not in it for as long as I would have wanted, but his spirit for adventure is infectious enough to inspire any reader to go out into the world and experience it in full. 

I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I first dug this artifact from the depths of the archive, but what I found was a genuine treasure. As artist and a student who has recently had his own experience traveling amongst the ruins of an ancient civilization, I found a lot of heart and inspiration in Jackson taking me along on his journey. 

Everett Gee Jackson passed away the year I was born (realize I'm literally dating myself here), so I never would have had the chance to speak with him but this book has managed to make me feel like I've known and travelled with him for years. It's an experience I highly recommend.

Thank you so much for joining me on yet another look through the annals of SDSU Press history. Join me next time as I wander through a sea of cardboard to venture deeper into the depths of time here at SDSU Press. Wish me luck, for I'll need it. Until then, take care loyal reader!


If you're interested in picking up the book, you can find it from our catalogue -> HERE <- and contribute in the effort to help clean up these four walls of chaos we call an office.

Friday, January 26, 2024

From the Depths of SDSU Press: The Comic Trial of Joseph K. (1996)


   WRITER'S NOTE: This post was meant to be finished in the year 2023, but in the fast moving world of academia, a 2023 deadline means January of the following year. So without further ado, onto the review!


    Hello loyal readers (and future loyal readers) of the Aztec Paper! My name is Robert Lang, an MFA Creative Writer at SDSU and proud staffer for SDSU Press! 

    Some of you may not be aware of the absolute state of the SDSU Press offices. 

Yes, it does look like San Diego Comic-Con threw up in here. Because it has.

       Truth be told, dear readers, it's difficult working under these circumstances. To keep myself sane, I've decided to dig around the depths of the Press archives, not unlike Dr. Jones, to try and find hidden gems.

So join me as we take our first trip in a series I'm dubbing "From the Depths of SDSU Press". 

Hidden in the far corners of the office archives I found a title in black that caught my eye, 

I have to note that there is a second ominous stack of the book that's tucked away behind a mountain of cardboard boxes. The sight would be too horrifying to your virgin eyes, dear reader. Be grateful I found the marginally less ominous stack next to a single copy of Cultural Studies in the Digital Age

      The publication I've rescued from the bowels of the Press this week is "The Comic Trial of Joseph K." by Héctor Ortega, edited in English by Manuel Flores.

    Published in 1996, the back of the book promises Ortega's adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Trial, written as a stageplay, along with a series of artists and critics' reflections. D. Emily Hicks, author of Border Writing: The Multidimensional Text promises "Ortega's version of The Trial reveals the mexicandidad of Franz Kafka's works." Considering Kafka is one of THE most European authors I know, that's a claim I needed to verify for myself. Alright, D. Emily Hicks, I'm willing to take a chance with you. Let's get into this book.

    I'm immediately greeted with...

Ok, there's a lot to unpack here.

    Anyone familiar with Kafka's work should be familiar with the type of surreal imagery his works inspire and the book is filled throughout with the drawings of José Luis Cuevas inspired by the Austrian author. The art, and more importantly, the artist set the scene for the cross-cultural nature of this work. 

In a solidly written introduction by Harry Polkinhorn, he discusses the cultural divide between the two authors of focus in this text. Franz Kafka and Héctor Ortega. One a "Polish Jew living in Prague and writing in German (instead of Yiddish)" and the other a Mexican actor, director, and writer living in Mexico City. When you discover that the art comes from the Mexico City-based Luis Cuevas and Ortega insisted on it's inclusion in the book, an image forms of this web of inspiration projecting from from 1914 Prague to 1940s America and France, 1950s Germany, 1970s Israel, and 1980s Mexico. 

You'll have to excuse me this indulgence, I went down a The Trial adaptation rabbit hole and I'm bringing you with me.

The play was originally produced in 1982, the same year a BBC Radio 4 production of Kafka's The Trial was broadcasted. If I had a nickel for every non-German language production of The Trial released in 1982 I'd have two nickels, which isn't a lot but it's weird that it happened twice right?

What does this mean about Kafka and his work that it's so resonant with so many cultures at different points in time? I think the book and the scholars featured within give some thoughts to that. The essays following the script discuss the social and cultural context of adapting Kafka and his humor. The humor is the most relevant aspect of the The Trial in Ortega's adaptation. 

If the title didn't clue you in El cómico proceso de José K, which translates to the English "The Comic Trial of Joseph K.", comedy is at the forefront of the adaptation. The original novel, for those of you who haven't read it, details an unfortunate year in the life of bank clerk Josef K. who is placed under arrest for an unknown crime and is ultimately (Spoilers, but it's almost a 100-year old novel at this point) executed. Now I know what you're thinking, that sounds like an absolutely hilarious romp. 

The comedy of Kafka, which is discussed by several of the scholars in the book most notably Hicks, is very absurdist and deeply satirical. Throughout the original novel, Josef finds himself at the mercy of a justice system that is so institutionally fraught with incompetence and corruption that even as he's being sentenced to execution no one is sure what crime he's being convicted for. The bizarre events that make up the year of Josef's life is given a very unique presentation in Ortega's adaptation.

Ortega doesn't just adapt The Trial beat for beat, but instead tells an abridged meta-version that features an omniscient narrator, characters who exist outside the narrative, an audience surrogate actor who speaks directly to the audience about Kafka, and even Kafka himself. It's a surreal read that I would have loved to seen live. The entire play is as much a celebration of Kafkaesque comedy as it is an adaptation.

It's a bizarrely entertaining two act play, but I was still left with the question of why this story, why Kafka, and why now (now being 1980s Mexico)? Thankfully the book isn't just the text, as the cover so helpfully points out, but also context.   

The political landscape of Mexico of that era was marked by widespread political corruption under then President López Portillo. The systems meant to govern and help the people of Mexico was being perverted to serve people with monied interests and power. A time when there was a civil war brewing between the U.S. backed institutional party and local dissidents. There was little faith in the powers that be in the Mexico Héctor Ortega was living in. 

Is it any wonder then that the absurdist depiction of a institution wrought with inadequacies and incompetence would speak to this disillusioned generation? One of the final lines in the play is a quote of Kafka's spoken by an actor that goes, "[l]iteraure is not much a matter of literary history but a people's matter." To me, that says it all. 

At the end of the year El cómico proceso de José K went into production, Miguel de la Madrid was elected president and ran on a "moral renovation" campaign aiming to balk back at government corruption. I'm not implying the play or Kafka is responsible for this, has been known to have strange effects on the world. 

The book also features stills from the original production which is cool, but only makes wish I could have seen the play myself. It's a blessing and a curse.

Unfortunately, we lost Héctor Ortega Gómez in 2020, but the work featured in this book stands as a testament to a longstanding conversation between storytellers that goes as far back as paintings on the inside of a cave. "The Comic Trial of Joseph K." is definitely worth your time if you're a fan of Kafka, interested in cross-cultural adaptation, or you're just looking to read something a little peculiar.

I want to thank you for joining me for this inaugural look through the annals of SDSU Press history. Join me next time as we jump back into fray and try not to get buried by old film props and Batman lunchboxes. Until then, take care loyal reader!


You can pick yourself up a copy of The Comic Trial of Joseph K. here and contribute in the effort to help clean up these four walls of chaos we call an office.