By Saul Hernandez
La Prensa de San Antonio.- Norma Cantu, professor and ardent advocate of education, is also an author and grand contributor to literature.
Her education was the key to her success and she demonstrates it proudly carrying with her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Texas A&I at Laredo and Kingsville, and her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.
She currently is a Professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio where she directs the doctoral program in English. Her specialty in Cultural Studies, Chicano/a, and Latino/a Literature and Film espouses her Hispanic heritage.
The professor is a recognized scholar and well-known as a folklorist for her award winning books including Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera.
The novel celebrates fifteen years in print, and even had a literary quicenanera at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center last April. Cantu said in an interview on NPR that Canicula refers to the dog days of summer, a common reference in Laredo to the very hot afternoons people would choose to stay indoors – as in “Don’t go out in la Canicula.”
The novel features her fictionalized memoir of her time in Laredo during the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s. Using photographs as a backdrop, she brings the images to life and recalls her own childhood living between the borders of America and Mexico.