There's no denying it, media culture has ushered in a new era of visibility for gays in America. Yet somehow the gay Latino doesn't fit into this sound-bite identity and usually isn't included in
national media images. Rane Arroyo offers a corrective.
Arroyo's writing is exciting and original.
An entertaining, intriguing, fascinating, and eye-opening collection of works.
Known primarily as a poet and playwright representing the gay Latino community, Arroyo has also been publishing prose throughout
his career and now gathers into this book a storm of writing that has been gaining strength, drop by drop, for more than ten years. How to Name a Hurricane collects short stories and other
fictions depicting Latino drag queens and leather men, religious sinners and happy atheists, working class heroes and cyberspace vaqueros—a parade of characters that invites readers to consider
whether one is more authentic a gay Latino than another.
Whereas actual hurricanes are given names, the gays given voice in this collection must name themselves—and these narratives
in turn reveal something of the "I" of Hurricane Rane. Whether portraying a family gathering as Brideshead Revisited with a mambo soundtrack, recounting the relationship of transvestite
Louie/Lois and her bisexual Superman, or bemoaning "feeling as unsexy as an old bean burrito in a 7-11 microwave," Arroyo tracks the heartbeat of his characters through a shimmering palette of styles.
Here are monologues, a story in verse, and other experimental forms appropriate to experimental lives—all affirming the basic human rights to dignity, equality, love, and even silliness.
When the AIDS epidemic first hit, many Latino families destroyed any remembrances of their gay and bisexual sons that might betray their pasts to la familia or el pueblo.
Arroyo's writings return the ghosts of those sons to the families, bars, dance clubs, and neighborhoods where they belong. By penetrating to the I's of narrative hurricanes, these stories honor the
survivors of our ongoing cultural storms.