Watercolor Women Opaque Men

Trade Paper – $18.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3510-9

E-book – $18.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3511-6
Publication Date
February 2017
Page Count
296 pages
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5

Watercolor Women Opaque Men

A Novel in Verse
Ana Castillo, introduction by Carmen Tafolla

2006 Independent Publisher Book Award for Story Teller of the Year
In this updated edition of Ana Castillo’s celebrated novel in verse, featuring a new introduction by Poet Laureate of Texas Carmen Tafolla, we revisit the story’s spirited heroine, known only as “Ella” or “She,” as she takes us through her own epic journey of self-actualization as an artist and a woman. With a remarkable combination of tenderness, lyricism, wicked humor, and biting satire, Castillo dramatizes Ella’s struggle through poverty as a Chicano single mother at the threshold of the twenty-first century, fighting for upward mobility while trying to raise her son to be independent and self-sufficient. Urged on by the gods of the ancients, Ella’s life interweaves with those of others whose existences are often neglected, even denied, by society’s status quo. Castillo’s strong rhythmic voice and exploration of such issues as love, sexual orientation, and cultural identity will resonate with readers today as much as they did upon the book’s original publication more than ten years ago. This expanded edition also includes a short preface by the author, as well as a glossary, a reader’s guide, and a list of additional suggested readings.
About the Author

ANA CASTILLO is an award-winning poet, novelist, short-story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator, and independent scholar. She has written more than twenty books in various genres, most recently Give It to Me and Black Dove, as well as So Far From God, Massacre of the Dreamers, and I Ask the Impossible. As a journalist and literary author, she has been a major force in the struggle for economic justice, women’s rights, and civil liberties, and has won numerous awards and fellowships. In June 2015, Castillo was given the Lifetime Achievement Award in literature by Latina 50 Plus, a motivational organization based in the Bronx. Castillo holds a faculty post at the Bread Loaf program with Middlebury College in Santa Fe and teaches creative nonfiction. She is also the editor of La Tolteca.

"Ana Castillo has done it again—contributed an edgy, unique, and singularly vital book of literature to the world of Chicano letters and beyond. Watercolor Women Opaque Men must be opened, read, and savored, over and over again, to even begin to mine the immense treasures contained within."—Luis J. Rodríguez, Poet Laureate of Los Angeles


"Castillo’s novel in verse is mythic, earthy, sardonic, and unsparing in its outrage and compassion as she joins story and poetry, past and present, and love and valor."—Donna Seaman, Booklist

"Castillo’s sincerity is obvious, and we enjoy how deftly a writer can wield her pen, her wit, her aspirations and visions."—Peter Matera, Rattle