This image is the cover for the book Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory, Chicana Matters

Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory, Chicana Matters

In this literary novel set in nineteenth-century Texas, a Tejana lesbian cowgirl embarks on an adventure after the fall of the Alamo.

Micaela Campos witnesses the violence against Mexicans, African Americans, and indigenous peoples after the infamous battles of the Alamo and of San Jacinto, both in 1836. Resisting an easy opposition between good versus evil and brown versus white characters, the novel also features Micaela’s Mexican-Anglo cousin who assists and hinders her progress. Micaela’s travels give us a new portrayal of the American West, populated by people of mixed races who are vexed by the collision of cultures and politics. Ultimately, Micaela’s journey and her romance with a Black/American Indian woman teach her that there are no easy solutions to the injustices that birthed the Texas Republic . . .

This novel is an intervention in queer history and fiction with its love story between two women of color in mid-nineteenth-century Texas. Pérez also shows how a colonial past still haunts our nation’s imagination. The battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto offered freedom and liberty to Texans, but what is often erased from the story is that common people who were Mexican, Indian, and Black did not necessarily benefit from the influx of so many Anglo immigrants to Texas. The social themes and identity issues that Pérez explores—political climate, debates over immigration, and historical revision of the American West—are current today.

“Pérez’s sparse, clean writing style is a blend of Cormac McCarthy, Carson McCullers, and Annie Proulx. This makes for a quick and engrossing reading experience as the narrative has a fluid quality about it.” —Alicia Gaspar de Alba, professor and chair of Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Sor Juana’s Second Dream

“Riveting . . . Emma Pérez captures well the violence and the chaos of the southwest borderlands during the time of territorial and international disputes in the 1800s. . . . Perez vividly depicts the conflicts between nations with the authority of a historian and with language belonging to a poet. A fine, fine read.” —Helena Maria Viramontes, author of Their Dogs Came with Them

“Pérez’s new novel . . . Powerfully presents a revenge tale from an unusual point of view, that of a displaced Chicana in 1836 Texas. . . . The writing is sharp and clever. The dialogue is realistic.” —Lambda Literary, Lambda Award Finalist 

“Filled with lush beauty, harshness, and horrifying brutality, this is one of those books in which you just KNOW what’s going to happen at the end—but you’re wrong.” —The Gay & Lesbian Review

Emma Pérez

Emma Pérez is Associate Professor and Chair of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the author of The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History and the novel Gulf Dreams.

University of Texas Press