The National Magazine of the Successful American Latino: Nicolas Kanellos: Houston, Texas – Hispanic Literature professor at University of Houston

Nicolas Kanellos: Houston, Texas – Hispanic Literature professor at University of Houston – Entrevista

Nicolas Kanellos is the Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Literature at the University of Houston and director of the major national research program, “Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage,” that aims to identify, preserve, and publish literary works written by Hispanics. He is also founding publisher of the nation’s oldest and most esteemed Hispanic publishing house, Arte Publico Press.

What is your present state of mind?

Optimistic, expectant, and confident that individuals can make a difference.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Having a healthy, loving family and a fulfilling job.

What do you appreciate most about your friends?

Loyalty and support.

What is your main defect?

I’m a workaholic.

What is your favorite occupation?

Doing research, writing, and editing.

Who are your favorite writers?

Hundreds of Latino writers from throughout the United States, including especially Graciela Limon, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Pat Mora, Tomas Rivera, Rolando Hinojosa, and Marcos McPeek Villatoro.

Who are your favorite painters?

Judy Baca, Alejandro Romero, Nivia Gonzalez Juan Sanchez, and Gronk.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Don Chipote, a poor greenhorn immigrant worker in the 1920s comic novel, The Adventures of Don Chipote, or When Parrots Breastfeed.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My son Miguel, who has braved a struggle with ADD and dsygraphia, and my wife, who is dauntless, tough, and persistent.

Which historical figures do you most despise?

Hitler. British, Spanish, Dutch, and French colonialists, and the purveyors of Manifest Destiny in the 19th Century.

What quality do you most admire in men?

Integrity.

What quality do you most admire in women?

Integrity, too.

Who would you like to be?

Myself.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

Enough height to dunk a basketball.

In which country would you like to live?

The USA, Mexico, or Spain.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing a loved one.

How would you like to die?

In my sleep, without having suffered illness for a long period of time.

What is your motto?

Count your blessings and enjoy them.

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