Here is a shifting memoir, a futurized holographic lexicon of multi-Guatemalas, a “rough” Now-edged literary explosión from the center of a Chinchilla-Centro-América. A refigured California, Borinquen, Caribe floating, flayed and frayed and fractal slivers of faces, bodies, intimacies, word flow encycloGuatepedia in volcanic rupture, out and “under the Huipil,” ripped and dressed up herstory-skirts, skin, skinless, that is, Latina, Queer, borderless Letters – Maya’s undulating “third eye.” It is all a ferocious seeing motion - deep knowledge, open diary, activist journal, a burning vermillion life-scape over Kahlo’s bed, Anzaldúa’s unloosened workshop, María Sabina’s black splattered visions, a Golden Gate bridgless. A first of its kind – Brava, bravissima, GuateBrava power. A game changer.
Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of California
The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética vividly documents, from multiple perspectives and positionalities, the experiences of forging and affirming new identities in the United States. Maya Chinchilla’s cutting-edge Chapina poética eloquently and richly tells the varied histories, realities, dreams and desires of U.S. Central Americans. The Cha Cha Files is a must read!
Alicia Ivonne Estrada, Associate Professor of
Chicana/o Studies, California State University,
Maya Chinchilla’s The Cha Cha Files is the Guatemalteca femme anthem and diary we have been waiting for. I love the way she meticulously documents and hopscotches through these precious, needed moments of queer brown girl memory, history and body. The Cha Cha Files captures the graceful power of Chinchilla’s performances with a deft telling of these autohistorias on the page.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, author of the
Lambda Award-winning Love Cake, Consensual
Genocide and The Revolution Starts At Home
Maya Chinchilla’s collection documents and dialogues with identity, home, remembering, and belonging in a syncopated dream language. You don’t know whether to surrender to its perfect lyricism or pour meticulously over every word contemplating the layered meaning in the metaphors and memories. She writes with vulnerability and intention on the politics and inestimable complexities of Latinidad and indigenismo, queerness, gender, borders, and love. Finally, her work is a call to action to those whose stories remain untold: “Unless we document ourselves we are invisible!”
Virgie Tovar, author of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls
on Life, Love and Fashion