ABOUT MARC ZIMMERMAN

Marc Zimmerman is Professor Emeritus of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) as well as World Cultures and Literatures in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Houston, where he served as chair (2002-2008), involving considerable work with Latin American Studies programs. Zimmerman worked in Nicaragua’s Ministerio de Cultura during the first year of the Sandinista Revolution. He has been director of Global CASA/ LACASA Books since 1998; and he has written and edited over forty books on world, Latin American and Latino cultural and literary studies. He has won Fulbright, Rockefeller and other major awards.

Zimmerman holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California San Diego and also an M.A. in Creative Writing (Language Arts) from San Francisco State University, where he studied with Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Herbert Blau, Mark Harris, James Scheville, Ray West, and Herbert Wilner. His early stories were published in The Dartmouth Quarterly, Descant, The Great River Review, and (in translation) Nuova Prosa, a key fiction journal in Milan, Italy. More recent stories have appeared in the Chicago Latino online journal, El BeiSMan, as well as in Voices in Italian Americana and Literal, a Latin American literary journal.

In recent years, Zimmerman has been writing a book on Chicago Chicano writing; and, he has been developing a series of interviews and related materials dealing with Chicago Latino art. These efforts are registered in his website www.lacasachicago.org; and he has recently donated his art-related materials to the Smithsonian Institution, which has now organized them as a component of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art Project. Based on this ongoing work, Zimmerman has thus far published several articles, as well as four texts centered on Chicago Mexican artists José Gamaliel González (2010 and 2013), Aaron Kerlow (2015) and José Guerrero (2016). He is currently developing a book on Central American artists in Chicago.

Returning to his first love of creative writing, Zimmerman has also been developing a series of books of “memoir fiction” (related life-based stories, dreams and fantasies organized into novel-like structures), Illusions of Memory touching on Jewish, Italian American, but above all Mexican/Chicano, Central American and Puerto Rican themes—with several books in progress, but nine now published: Stores of Winter (2006) Martín and Marvin (2016), The Italian Daze (2017), The Short of it All: Dreams and Scenes of Memoir Fiction (2018), as well as his Border Trilogy, Lines on the Border (2017), Sandino on the Border (2018), and La Dolce Vita on the Northern Side (2019). Genesis, Two Ways West, Managua Mon Amour (Nevermore) and his first novel No Light From Heaven all appeared in 2020. La penisola non trovata, an Italian-language version of The Italian Daze, was published by Greco e Greco in Milano and presented at the Torino International Milano Book Fair in 2017; Cuán alta la luna, the Spanish-language translation of The Short of it All, appeared in 2019. Other translations of his work will appear soon, as will new volumes of Cycle II of his Illusions of Memory Series.

 

Zimmerman has recently lectured on Chicago Latino art at Dartmouth College, the U. of California Berkeley and San Diego, Purdue University and the Universidad de Costa Rica. He has read from his fiction in Italy at Milano’s Verso Bookstore and the Torino International Book Fair, in California at the University Press Book Store in Berkeley, the Tía Chucha Cultural Center in Sylmar, the Media Center in San Diego, the Avid Reader in Davis, and the Green Arcade in San Francisco—as well as in public libraries in East Los Angeles and La Jolla. In Chicago, he has read for the Palabra Pura program of the Guild Literary Complex, the Heirloom Bookstore, and the Rudy Lozano Public Library. In Puerto Rico, he has read at Librería Laberinto in San Juan and Librería Candil in Ponce, as well as in a seminar at El Centro de Estudios Avanzados in el Viejo San Juan.

He and his wife Esther Soler from Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, divide each year between the island and the Wicker Park/ Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. They continue to travel each year to Minnesota, California and abroad. They hope to get back to Iberia, Italy, Mexico and South America at least one more time.