To Selena, With Love

Tall tales of Texas and beyond

33 Revolutions Per Page

To Selena, With Love

by Chris Perez
Celebra Hardcover, 294 pp., $24.95

Latin music shuddered and listed when Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was murdered in Corpus Christi on March 31, 1995. Almost 20 years later, the Tejano singer still occupies sanctified space in her fandom's collective heart – as evidenced by April's posthumous duets disc, Enamorada De Ti, which debuted at the top of Billboard's Latin Albums chart. Selena merchandise – from postage stamps to prepaid debit cards – still enjoys a brisk trade, and now Selena's widower, Chris Perez, adds his contribution to the ongoing beatification of the Lake Jackson-born pop princess. His is a memoir of their relationship, from the first blush of love to his wrenching final goodbye in the funeral home. And yet, Perez's authorial voice is so bland and utterly devoted in his adoration of Selena that he renders himself a cipher. What's more, Selena, as rendered by her husband – who has since won a Grammy, remarried, and divorced – seems flawless, never throwing tantrums, farting in bed, or consenting to a little premarital bidi bidi bom bom. The lacunae in Perez's personal story – he purposefully leaves out wide swaths of detail – serve as a beige counterpoint to Selena's everlasting sparkle. Everyone cares about Selena; where Perez stumbles is making the audience care about him.

READ MORE
More Selena
Siempre Selena
Siempre Selena
South Texas' inaugural Fiesta de la Flor will be historic

Kate X Messer, April 10, 2015

Phases & Stages
Selena
La Leyenda (Record Review)

Belinda Acosta, May 14, 2010

More Music Reviews
My Little Red Book
Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk
Punk rock as L.A. lit no less than Charles Bukowski and Raymond Chandler

Tim Stegall, June 17, 2016

My Little Red Book
NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories
The punk equivalent to Mötley Crüe's debauched autobiography The Dirt

Tim Stegall, June 17, 2016

More by Melanie Haupt
Finding Community With Bread Church
Finding Community With Bread Church
Local parish comes together around baking

July 22, 2016

What the Hell Is Mighty Swell?
What the Hell Is Mighty Swell?
Introducing the post-millennial wine cooler

July 15, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Selena, Chris Perez

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)