Gloria Damasco, Justin Escobar & Dora Saldana
Created by Lucha Corpi
Former Chicana civil-rights activist turned Oakland P.I. GLORIA DAMASCO has a certain "dark gift," an extrasensory awareness that's neither controllable nor particularly wanted. She and her partner, ex-cop JUSTIN ESCOBAR, appeared in three politically charged books put out by a small press, Arte Publico, in the nineties.
In 2004, the series returned with Crimson Moon, now subtitled "A Brown Angel Mystery," but Gloria's role is substantially reduced, as she spends most of the book in a coma. So it's up to her fellow ops Justin and DORA SALDANA to untangle a troubling thirty-year old case involving corruption, the FBI, the Chicano brown power movement in the United States and the Zapatista movement in Mexico and an elusive rapist.
A teacher for over thirty years as a teacher in the Oakland Public School Neighborhood Centers Program, author Lucha Corpi has written poetry and children's books as well as mysteries. She has won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Prize, the Multi-cultural Publishers Exchange Book Award of Excellence in adult fictionand was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.
There have been a few claims to the effect that Damasco was the first Chicana detective in American literature, but that's a rather bold statement, since Cleve F. Adams' Nevada Alvarado made her debut almost fifty years earlier. And if the notorious Adams isn't politically correct enough, there's still Gloria White's Ronnie Ventana to take into consideration.
P.I.E.S. call the series a "good effort to extend the P. I. into new territories."
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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