Live Webinar: Fostering Latina Leadership

Presumably, instructions for how to log on to the Webinar will be posted here:

Tue, April 3, 2018 | Gordon-White Building Multi-Purpose Room | GWB 2.206 | The University of Texas at Austin

2:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Join UT & UTEP for a Live Webinar!

Join the Latina Researchers Network, The University of Texas at El Paso, and the Latino Research Initiative at The University of Texas at Austin for a live webinar you don’t want to miss! UT Austin and UT El Paso campuses will host concurrent webinars featuring a strengths-based approach to fostering Latina leadership. Open to all researchers.

Austin Webinar begins at 2:30 PM (CT)
Gordon-White Building • GWB 2.206 • UT Austin
Refreshments to follow

Two speakers will present:

Dr. Cynthia de las Fuentes works in private practice offering psychotherapy and assessment services. Previously, she was a Professor of Psychology in an American Psychological Association accredited doctoral program. She has dozens of presentations and publications in her areas of scholarship: ethics in psychology, feminist psychology, and multicultural psychology. She served as the editor of the Texas Psychologist in 2016.

Dr. Guillermina G. Núñez-Mchiri is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Women and Gender Studies at UTEP. She is also a mother of a 10 year old son in 5th grade. Dr. Núñez-Mchiri is a faculty partner to Wise Latina International’s LEAD program, a leadership initiative for women in El Paso. Her most recent publication is a co-edited book on Community Engagement and High Impact Practices in Higher Education (2018).

Sponsored by: Latina Researchers Network, The University of Texas at El Paso, and the Latino Research Initiative

Announcing the Playwrights for the Austin Latino New Play Festival 2018

The festival is April 19-21, 2018 at the Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, TX.

Teatro Vivo is excited to announce the playwrights for the the 8th annual Austin Latino New Play Festival. The festival will be presented in collaboration with ScriptWorks, April 19-21, 2018 at the Emma S. Barrientos – Mexican American Cultural Center.

The ALNPF unites playwrights and audience members in conversation surrounding new works of Latino theatre. After each performance, the playwright participates in a talkback session with the audience. The ALNPF features four new plays by playwrights from throughout the U.S., including a play for young audiences. The four plays explore cross-cultural themes and dilemmas that surprise, challenge, engage, and push the dramatic envelope.

With support from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, the playwrights will join us in Austin to workshop and further develop their work.

Atacama by Augusto Federico Amador

Thirty years after the dirty war waged by the General Pinochet regime on the Chilean people. Two strangers search the Atacama Desert for their buried loved ones and discover there are darker truths awaiting them underneath the hard sands of the Atacama.

Augusto Federico Amador was born and raised in the Silicon Valley and is the son of an accomplished Peruvian Jazz composer and an Austrian mother. Mr. Amador has recently been awarded the prestigious Lincoln City Fellowship from Speranza Foundation for playwriting. Atacama placed in 50 Playwright Project’s 2017 list of best unproduced Latino plays, as well as a runner up for the 2017 National Latino Playwriting Award from the Arizona Theater Company. His plays have been finalists or semi-finalists for several awards, including the Eugene O’Neill Conference, Princess Grace Award, Terrence McNally Award, Metlife Foundation National Latino Playwright Award, New Works Labs at Stratford, and the Lee Strasberg Theater, among others.

American (Tele)visions by Victor I. Cazares 

The Canales family just can’t catch a break: The dad gets impaled with the TV antenna, the mom and Stanley the truck driver have run off with half their doublewide mobile home, the brother is dead and is reanimated by his gay Vietnamese lover, and Erica…Erica is a kids’s TV dinner tray with lots of sodium and dreams. You know, just your typical undocumented Mexican family living in the shadow of the first Wal-Mart in the history of the American Universe. Now please someone get them an HBO show. Elevator Pitch: “Estos Somos Nosotros” meets Super Mario NES.

Victor I. Cazares was born twice on paper: in El Paso, Texas and San Lorenzo, Chihuahua, Mexico. His plays have been read, developed, or produced at American Repertory Theatre, Amherst College, Brown University, New York Theatre Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Red Fern Theatre Company, and the Yale School of Drama. Cazares holds an M.F.A. from Brown University and a B.A. in History of Art from Yale University where he received a Josef Albers Fellowship and a Sudler Grant. He lives, forages, and produces his social media telenovela, El Amor en Tiempos de Trump in Portland, Oregon.

Dulce by Ramon Esquivel (A Play for Young Audiences)

A boy named Memo learns that Abuelita, his beloved grandmother, has died. Unsure of how to feel, Memo decides to find Abuelita’s hidden stash of candy. But his mother Luisa and older sister Ceci are too caught up in their own grief to help, so Memo turns to an unexpected ally in his search for the dulce: Abuelita herself! Memo journeys with Abuelita through her memories as a child in Mexico and a young immigrant in the USA, and he discovers that the true treasure Abuelita left for him is familia. A play for young audiences (ages 8+) and families, Dulce draws on both magical realism and slapstick comedy to tell a story about cultural identity, intergenerational ties, and learning how to say goodbye.

Ramón Esquivel is a playwright based in the Pacific Northwest. He teaches playwriting and theatre education at Central Washington University. In 2017, his play Luna was produced at the University of Texas and toured Austin-area schools. Luna is featured in Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences, a play anthology from Dramatic Publishing. The Hero Twins: Blood Race, an original story inspired by Mayan mythology, premieres in April at Appalachian Young People’s Theatre in North Carolina. Above Between Below, a play about bullying, is currently touring middle schools in Washington and Oregon through a partnership between Seattle Children’s Theatre and Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre. Dulce was the first play Ramón ever wrote, though it has never been produced. He is grateful for the opportunity to revisit this deeply personal work, and to share it with young audiences and families in Austin.

Hielo by Dania Ramos

It is spring 2017 in Cayey, Puerto Rico. When Lucia’s hours at the local superstore are cut back, she decides it’s time to follow her dream of starting a homemade flavored-ice business. She enlists the help of her book-smart teenaged daughter, Alondra, and her resourceful best friend, Yamilet, but things heat up when the neighborhood piragüero feels that his livelihood is threatened. Lucia must consider what’s best for her neighborhood, her daughter, and herself.

Dania Ramos‘s stage plays have been produced or developed by Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Luna Stage, Writers Theatre of New Jersey, Speranza Theatre Company, and Repertorio Español. She has been a finalist in the MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition, the recipient of a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship, and placed third in the 2017 Henley Rose Playwright Competition. Dania holds an MA in creative writing from Wilkes University and a BFA in theatre performance from Montclair State University.

This project is in collaboration with ScriptWorks, and is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures.


“Questionable Content:” The Banned Books of Ana Castillo and Carmen Tafolla

What: A Viva Voz – A Celebration of Latina/o Arts and Culture at the Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas at Austin is hosting a reading and conversation with Ana Castillo and Carmen Tafolla to discuss the Arizona HB 2281 bill that banned Mexican American Studies. This ban was recently overturned.

When: April 5, 2018 from 7-9

Where: Benson Latin American Collection

RSVP to to be entered in book raffle. Learn more about banned books here

2nd Annual Madrid Lecture and Symposium in San Antonio

What you need to know:

What: 2nd Annual Madrid Lecture and Symposium

When: Thursday April 12, 2018 – 9am to 6pm

Where: Trinity University, Holt Center, 106 Oakmont Court, San Antonio, TX

Who: Some of the very very best poets out there: Celeste Guzman, Judith Santopietro, ire’ne lara silva, Carmen Tafolla, Lucha Corpi, Liliana Valenzuela, Rossy Evelin Lima, Eugenia Toledo, Rosemary Catacalos, Angeles Martinez Donoso, Ivonne Gordon, Eleonora Requena, Minerva Margarita


In Junot Diaz’s ‘Islandborn,’ A Curious Child Re-Creates Her Dominican Roots

Original post by Steve Inskeep and the actual interview can be found here:
Junot Díaz wanted to write a children’s book for more than 20 years. In the meantime, he wrote several grown-up books, including The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008. He also won a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, among other accolades.

Now he has finished that children’s book. Islandborn is about a curious, Afro-Caribbean girl named Lola.

“She is an immigrant who came over so young, she has no memories of the land that she left behind,” Díaz says. “And of course she is surrounded by a community that talks endlessly about the island.”

She’s about 6 years old, the age Díaz was when he and his family fled to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, which was torn apart by the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Islandborn, illustrated by Leo Espinosa, follows Lola’s quest to find out about the mysterious nation.

Interview Highlights

On what inspires Lola to find out more about the Dominican Republic

A teacher, you know, Ms. Obi, challenges them to draw a picture of their first home because Lola is in a school called “the school of faraway places,” and all the children in her school are immigrants. But Lola, of course, doesn’t have any memories. And so she and her teacher start devising a way that she be able to find a way to draw a picture by talking to and reaching out to the people around her who do remember.

On how she begins to reconstruct the island

Well, she gets into dialogue. I think what’s interesting is that the — often the questions of young people, you know, in some ways, they create an invitation for older people who have spent a lot of time sustaining certain kinds of silences. You know, if you’re in a family that has silences, a young person can sort of zero in on them and say, “Hey. Whatever happened to X?” Or “What is Y about?” She, in her very innocent and curious and energetic way, creates an opportunity for the community to have a reckoning with some of the history which it’s attempting to distance or disavow.

Mrs. Bernard, who sells Lola empanadas after school, says the thing she remembers most about “the Island” is the music.

Courtesy of Dial Books for Young Readers

On how older people explain Trujillo’s dictatorship to her

Well, you know, one thing is sure is that there’s a number of tactics. You have some folks trying to discourage her, other folks trying to shut the door, but her persistence wins the day. And eventually someone sits down with her — Mr. Mir — and explains to her in highly metaphorical language, but I think [in] more honest and some ways more impactful than if he’d given her just a clinical description of it.

On describing Trujillo as a “monster” and the line “That’s why we’re all here.”

When we look at the discourses around immigration, it’s always this deficit model: “We didn’t have anything at home” or “We had less at home, and so we came here for more opportunities.” OK, that’s very, very comforting. There’s also the fact a lot of people come because political realities have uprooted them, have driven them from their homes.

Mr. Mir tells Lola of the brave people who fought “the monster,” referencing Trujillo’s dictatorship.

Courtesy of Dial Books for Young Readers

On Trujillo’s dictatorship

I think he’s like most authoritarian, near-totalitarian dictators. There was no safety for people or families. Today, you could be walking down the street, and somebody who had Trujillo’s ear would want your house, and the next thing you know, you would be out of it. There was constant murder, constant torture. This was also a racial dictatorship, a violently Jim Crow-type dictatorship where people of dark skin, their lives were made much more difficult than the light-skinned people. It was a very bad period.

On how much Lola understands about the Dominican Republic by the end of the book

I would argue that young people are far more sophisticated than any adult gives them credit for. Adults are always imagining children to be less sophisticated than they really are. Lola, I think, is sophisticated. I think, as we see in the book, that she’s taken Mr. Mir’s story about this political monstrosity that’s seized her island to heart. It allows her, in some ways, to connect to her family more deeply and to herself, and ultimately leaves her far more — at least in my mind — leaves her in a better place than she was when she started.

Catherine Whelan and Jessica Smith produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Sydnee Monday adapted it for the Web.

Interview with Pulitzer Prize Finalist Luis Alberto Urrea

This interview is conducted by Gerald Padilla from As always, I encourage folks to check out the sites that I’m aggregating their information from. Those clicks are important…–latino-book-review.html
Luis Alberto Urrea (Tijuana, Mexico) is a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for his landmark work of nonfiction The Devil’s Highway. He is also the bestselling author of the novels The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Into the Beautiful North, and Queen of America, as well as the story collections The Water Museum, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. He has won the Lannan Literary Award, an Edgar Award, and a 2017 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among many other honors.

GERALD PADILLA: Luis Alberto, it’s a pleasure to have you on Latino Book Review and congratulations on your upcoming book, The House of Broken Angels.

LUIS ALBERTO URREA: Thank you so much, mi gente! It means a lot to me to speak with you.

PADILLA: You were born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother. It seems you were born between two nations and cultures, geographically as well as within your family. How did you navigate between these two worlds as a child?

URREA: I didn’t know any better. Didn’t everyone learn Spanish before they learned English? Didn’t everybody have a Mexican grandma who turned out to have Irish blood? Didn’t everybody’s mom have trouble learning how to cuss in Spanish? None of us are given a rule book or a template for what a family is, how identity works. We are what we are. I think that’s why it’s such a shock when the cabrones come after us. The culture clash really began when we moved out of Tijuana and settled in Barrio Logan and my parents immediately recreated the border inside our little apartment.
Once they were not happy together, you could have parked a migra truck right in the kitchen. I have often said the kitchen was the US and the living room was pretty much Sinaloa. And that’s when I had to learn some pretty serious spy moves to get through the intrigues of that particular Cold War. And that extended into my general life in the US for a long time.

PADILLA: As a young author, what was some of the most valuable advice you received?

URREA: It was from Rudolfo Anaya. I was a bit in awe of him. But he immediately took on the role of some kind of tio and he told me something I have never forgotten. He said if you can make your abuelita in Tijuana the grandmother of some reader in Iowa, you have committed the most powerful of political and religious acts. I hear that small voice every time I work on a book or a story. 

PADILLA: In an interview on UC Television, you stated that at the beginning of your career, a New York editor told you, “Nobody cares about starving Mexicans”. You were also told, at one point, that should change your name to an Anglo name so it wouldn’t sound so freakish. Despite all the cultural animosity, what motivated you to continue writing stories about Mexicans and Mexican Americans?

URREA: I have always been amazed that it seems to come as a shock to people that Mexicans are human beings. And on a philosophical level, I always remind interviewers that “the border” has nothing to do being Mexican or not. The border is simply a metaphor for what divides and wounds us as people – and I mean that “border” between any group of people, gay-straight, black-white, Muslim-Jewish, etc.

Marginalized and oppressed people know full well that the border is not just that place the Border Patrol enforces. So my job is primarily to tell a true and good story about us. But I am also representing the ancestors and striking a blow for sacredness. I strive to force readers to love these characters I am creating. It is a subversive act. It is my responsibility, it is my honor

PADILLA: In 2005 you became a finalist for one of the most prestigious awards in the nation. How did it feel in a personal level to become a Pulitzer Prize Finalist?

URREA: It’s kind of funny, but one of my first thoughts was “I hope Tijuana is proud of me.” Although it sounds like faux modesty, this was one time that simply being a finalist was enough. It changed so much in my career. Though, of course, I invite them to go ahead and award me one next time!

PADILLA: In 2014 you gave a TEDx presentation in Alaska, where you spoke passionately about the dignity of Latin American children who come to the U.S. to seek refuge. What message would you give politicians whose decisions could help or hinder the lives of these children?

URREA: I am so much more angry now than I was for my TED talk. I don’t offer this as a cop-out to you, but I said it as clearly as I could in this new book. And we’ll see how people respond.

PADILLA: Your upcoming book, The House of Broken Angels, is the epic story of an imperfect, humorous, bold, lionhearted, American family—“one that happens to speak Spanish.” It is also a story that was inspired by the death of your brother. How were you able to put such a deep and emotional part of your life into words and what drove you to do so?

URREA: I love my brother. I love my people. I knew that it was time for me to attempt a big “American family saga.” When I told the writer Jim Harrison the story of my brother’s death, he told me “Sometimes God hands you a novel. You’d better write it.” My wife, who watched the events fictionalized in the book, had been telling me something similar for quite a while. Yet I thought it was just too personal and particular to mean anything to readers. But I remembered Rudy and I realized this could be the most personally involving narrative for the reader that I could ever write. Finally, I will say that I had to go through many drafts and some hand-to-hand combat with my editor to change this from a fictionalized memoir to a universal story. I had in mind a novel, a great novel, a BIG novel, something more like a Russian novel or Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. It couldn’t just be folksy memories about my brother. That wasn’t the point. Through fiction, he had to become everyone’s brother. You can see how this potentially is quite revolutionary in the current political times we are enduring.


PADILLA: You have come a long way since the beginning of your career. You have become an award winning, bestselling author and an inspiration to many Latino authors. What are your hopes for Latino literature in the near future?

URREA: You know how on Cinco de Mayo there is a table in the front of the bookstore with a couple of “Latino books?” You know how when you go into Barnes and Nobel, there is a shelf for “Hispanic” or “Latino” books? It’s down at the bottom, somewhere beyond gay literature, Native American, or Asian literature. My hope is that we prevail, that we show this culture what we already know. “Latino” literature IS American literature. We know something about “America” and we can remind them that “America” goes from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic Circle. We are not a cute seasonal beer ad. We are not a vector for do-gooders to feel good about themselves. We are true artists. We are geniuses. We are here to stay. I’d like to see all of us right there on the literature shelf. Let our books stand against Jonathan Franzen or Ann Patchett or Ernest Hemingway. Let us enact the dictum of St. James Brown: “I don’t need nobody to give me nothing. Just open the door. I’ll get it myself.”

PADILLA: Thank you again Luis Alberto for taking the time to share with us at Latino Book Review.

URREA: It’s been an honor. Thank you for taking the time. Much love and respect.

New Poem by Rita Maria Martinez

Originally posted last week on SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami). Please check out their site here:



Amazonian Abecedarian

March 12, 2018


By Rita Maria Martinez

Amazonium, strongest metal on Earth, forged into

bullet-deflecting bracelets, shiny silver

cuffs inspiring confidence, helping me thwart

derisive bullies who openly threatened

extending their reign of terror beyond shouts of freak,

fea, perra, hound of Hades, eye

gunk of Giganta, chew toy of Cheetah, jock itch of Jor-El. Great

Hera! Athena knows I only possessed

imagination and daydreams of the invisible

jet whisking me away before obnoxious prima donnas

kicked my face in because they thought they had

license to make my benign and solitary existence

miserable, but Marston’s immortal maiden

never succumbed to imbeciles or threats,

openly defied those plotting to plunder

Paradise Island, place that sounded like abuela’s Cuba,

quiet Eden, uncharted isle where peace

reigned supreme and women enjoyed

sailing, fencing, and horseback riding.

Themyscira, I have longed for your refuge

under the full moon’s omniscient,

voluptuous light, desired to enter the sanctum of Diana’s

world, elusive, mysterious, impervious, never

X’d on man-made maps—

your beauty surpasses anything

Zeus could’ve ever imagined.

Rita Maria Martinez’s poetry collection, The Jane and Bertha in Me (Kelsay Books), celebrates Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre. Her poetry appears in the Notre Dame Review, Ploughshares, and The Best American Poetry Blog. Martinez’s work also appears in the textbook Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction/Literary Nonfiction, Poetry and Drama, and in the anthology Burnt Sugar, Caña Quemada: Contemporary Cuban Poetry in English and Spanish. Visit Martinez’s website at

CfP: Label me Latina/o

Label Me Latina/o


Label Me Latina/o is an online, refereed international e-journal that focuses on Latino Literary Production in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The journal invites scholarly essays focusing on these writers for its biannual publication. Label Me Latina/o also publishes creative literary pieces whose authors self-define as Latina or Latino regardless of thematic content. Interviews of Latino or Latina authors will also be considered. The Co-Directors will publish creative works and interviews in English, Spanish or Spanglish whereas analytical essays should be written in English or Spanish.

Scholarly submissions should be between 12-30 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font and should follow the MLA Style Manual. Please use End Notes rather than Footnotes and place page numbers in the upper right hand corner. Original, unpublished submissions in Microsoft Word (PC compatible format) should be sent electronically to both of the co-directors: Kathryn Quinn-Sánchez and Michele Shaul

We do accept simultaneous submissions of creative works. Scholarly articles under consideration should not be submitted elsewhere.

Creative poetry, essays and short fiction should not exceed 30 pages, 12 point font, double-spaced.

Deadline for the Fall 2018 issue: June 15, 2018.

Please include the following information in the body of the email:

  • Full name
  • Institutional Affiliation
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Regular mail address
  • Title of the submission
  • A brief biography to be included with publication should your submission be selected.

For more information:

Pura Belpré Award Winners 2018


The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.


2018 Author Award Winner  

Lucky Broken Girl, by Ruth Behar. Published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

In Lucky Broken Girl, fifth-grader Ruthie Mizrahi, newly arrived to the United States from Cuba in the 1960’s, is confined to a full-body cast after a life-changing accident. Surrounded by her Cuban-Jewish family and a diverse group of neighbors, Ruthie finds strength and courage to heal and grow. The book was published byNancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

“Ruth Behar draws from her childhood experience to tell a story that celebrates Latinx experience while affirming the resilience of children facing both universal and specific challenges,”said Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Alicia K. Long.

2018 llustrator Award Winner

La Princesa and the Pea, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, written by Susan Middleton Elya, and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

La Princesa and the Pea is a tale set amid guinea pigs, stone arches, and fuzzy indigenous Peruvian textiles. Juana Martinez-Neal’s mischievous characters play out the classic princess-and-the-pea tale—with a twist. Cultural elements inspired by the Peruvian village of Huilloc and the Colca Canyon add vibrancy and playfulness in Martinez-Neal’s acrylic and colored pencil illustrations.

“Martinez-Neal’s masterful character and setting design, along with her incorporation of Peruvian cultural elements, make this book exquisite and unmatched,” said Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Alicia K. Long.

2018 Author Honor Books

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, by Pablo Cartaya. Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

In The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, Arturo spends the summer working at his beloved Abuela’s Cuban restaurant in a Miami neighborhood. When Arturo learns of a greedy land developer’s plans to tear down the building, he enlists the help of his friends to save the restaurant. This humorous coming-of-age tale celebrates family, music and poetry, and embraces failure as a springboard to growth.

The First Rule of Punk, by Celia C. Pérez. Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

12-year-old Malú O’Neill-Morales is biracial, Latinx, and punk. Tasked with being a “señorita,”she instead follows the first rule of punk: “Be Yourself.” Malú creates zines about her inner thoughts while navigating a new school where she’s not seen as Latinx enough, starting a punk band along the way.

2018 Illustrator Honor Books

All Around Us, illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia, written by Xelena González, and published by Cinco Puntos Press

The cycle of life is explored through the eyes of a grandfather and his granddaughter, in the Mestizo tradition. Vivid digital images use colorful contours and vibrant color to depict visible and invisible circles in everyday life.

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos, illustrated by John Parra, written by Monica Brown, and published by NorthSouth Books, Inc., an imprint of NordSüd Verlag AG

The connections between Frida Kahlo and her xoloitzcuintles, monkeys, turkeys, and other pets are palpable in John Parra’s warm, expressive acrylic illustrations. Details of Mexican folk art ground the story as facial and body expressions from Frida and animalitos reinforce their relationship, showing how Frida was comforted and inspired by her pets and how her personality was shaped by and reflected in them.