It’s impossible to talk about Tejano music—or, indeed, about female pop stardom—without recognizing the 101st Airborne Division Veteran Shirt Also,I will get this influence of Selena Quintanilla, one of the most famous Mexican-American entertainers of all time. The world mourned when Quintanilla was killed by fan and former employee Yolanda Saldívar in 1995, and now the poet Melissa Lozada-Oliva has dedicated the bulk of her first novel, Dreaming of You, to exploring the impact that Selena’s legacy and brutal murder had on a generation of young women.
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In Dreaming of You—out on October 26 from Astra House—a young Latinx poet brings Selena back to life with a séance that kicks off a Homeric voyage through the 101st Airborne Division Veteran Shirt Also,I will get this bowels of hell (with a pit stop at prom, of course). The novel is narrated in verse, a device that could feel gimmicky in less capable hands than Lozada-Oliva’s, but instead melds with the macabre-yet-gossipy subject matter to create an unforgettable portrait of a public figure who to many seemed larger than life. On the eve of her book release, Vogue spoke to Lozada-Oliva about the origins of her relationship to Selena, her complicated feelings about Saldívar, and the lines of poetry that haunted her as she wrote Dreaming of You. I’m having a book release event at the Brooklyn Museum on Thursday. Pom Pom Squad will perform, and the theme is “dead celebrity prom,” so I’m asking everyone to come as their fave dead celeb. Selena will probably be played. (Laughs.)