Queer Latino Testimonio, Keith Haring, and Juanito Xtravaganza
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In the tradition of the Latin American testimonio, this is the story of Juan Rivera, a.k.a. Juanito Xtravaganza, a Latino runaway youth who ends up homeless in the streets of New York in the late 70s and becomes partner of the internationally famous 1980s Pop artist Keith Haring during some of the most frenetically productive years of his brief life, as told to the author and retold by him. A hybrid text–part testimonio, part linguistic and cultural analysis, and part art criticism–this is also a history of New York Latino neighborhoods during this period of devastating disinvestment and gentrification, as well as a personal, heart-felt meditation on the art of listening and the ethical limits of representing queer Latino lives.
Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature, and Associate Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Institute at Fordham University. He is co-editor of Queer Globalization: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism.
“A story of the abject, an urban cultural history, and a literary meditation, Queer Latino Testimonio, Keith Haring, and Juanito Xtravaganza is a glorious assemblage of voices, images, rhythms, and sensualities of the turbulent last two decades of twentieth-century New York City. A stirring portrait of the upheavals, deaths, and hopeful futures of bodies under siege. A marvelous piece of scholarship!”–MARTIN F. MANALANSAN IV, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora“Narrated with sensitivity and style, Queer Latino Testimonio, Keith Haring, and Juanito Xtravaganza reminds us that the greatest of our cultural icons are never simply isolated geniuses, but instead reflections of the messy, funky, difficult, exasperating, and exciting realities of everyday life. In a word, the book you hold in your hands is legendary!”–ROBERT F. REID-PHARR, Professor of English, CUNY Graduate School, and author of Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual“A thrilling biography of a character that is both real and imagined, and a fresh vision of what Cultural Studies can become.”–MAYRA SANTOS-FEBRES, Professor of Hispanic Literatures, University of Puerto Rico, and author of Sirena Selena“An alluring, uncompromising tale of tails in the waning years of the age of x-travagance, and the dawn of the age of AIDS.”–RUBÉN RIOS-ÁVILA, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Puerto Rico, and author of La raza cómica
Listening Speaks (I): An Introduction * The Life and Times of Juanito Xtravaganza as Told by Juan Rivera and Retold by Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé * A Radiated Radiant Baby: Keith Haring and an Aesthetics of Identification * Listening Speaks (II): Testimonio, Queer Latino Representation, and Shame * What’s in a Name: The Places, The People, The Terms * Spanglish Glosses
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