The new edition of The New Latina’s Bible has a total of fourteen chapters that cover the gamut in our lives -- from health, to sexuality, from love to career.
When The Latina's Bible was first published eight years ago by Random House, it touched the lives of thousands of Latinas across the nation. One critic said of the original, “this is a book for all Latinas living in the U.S. Guzman writes with much sisterly love and respect, pointing out ways Hispanic women can meld the best of Latin culture with feminist-based U.S. values. She fosters a self-reliant, take-charge attitude in her readers, while encouraging healthy relationships and communication with family.”
One of the new chapters is about dating and domestic violence, a huge problem nationwide, particularly, in the Latino community. When I look all around me -- both in my circle of friends and family, and extended community of brown sisters -- I cannot fail to notice how we have forgotten how to love. How to love each other and ourselves. The physical and tragic violence is real, but the verbal violence is even more real, and too common. And not behind closed doors. We see it online. We see it on television. We hear it in music.
Just today as I was walking home, I passed by a beautiful young couple -- young Latinos -- violently arguing. They both appeared a little drunk, and were going at each other viciously hurling some of the most hurtful and violent words at each other.
Words can be weapons of individual and mass destruction. Watch how you talk to the people you love, to those you come in contact with on a daily basis. Watch how you talk to yourself!
The evidence shows that we have forgotten how to talk to one another. But more than that, I think that we have forgotten how to love ourselves. That is where it begins...self love.
Culture does play a role in the lessons we hear about love. And that is something that I explore more intimately in this new edition of my book. I share some details of my experience with dating violence in the hopes of having a more honest conversation.
Another new chapter explores a topic that I think is a national emergency: Latinas and depression. I think it's the elephant in many of our living rooms. And as common as it is -- and for Latinas it goes untreated at alarming high rates -- we just don't talk about it. Too many of us live in pain because we don't treat depression. We are in denial about it and it’s causing all kinds of chaos. Again, I think that culture plays a critical role in how we view anything -- including an illness.
The truth is that we view the world through a unique cultural prism and heal from a unique perspective. Very little is published for the millions of American women who identify as Latinas. This new edition of the book is one small attempt to have a conversation with you and with each other.
It's my hope that The New Latina's Bible will continue to find it’s way into the hands of Latinas, those who are proud of their heritage and those who feel like they've been living relatively invisible lives; those who know about their tradition and customs and those for whom these birthrights have been nearly erased.
Stay tuned, there's more to come.