Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ana Castillo At IMIX Books Eagle Rock

Michael Sedano

Ana Castillo's new novel, The Guardians, had been published only the day before. Literally, hot off the presses, the novelist has brought the work to the Eagle Rock community of northeast Los Angeles. Over a hundred people pack the space, standing room only as the seven o'clock hour arrives. No CPT at IMIX.

Elisa Garcia-Rodriguez welcomes her guests to the world's smallest bookstore, IMIX Books. But it's not the size of the bookstore in the game, it's the game in the bookstore that matters. And Elisa and IMIX have plenty of what it takes to be all the bookstore a reader needs.

All of which accounts for the evening's featured guest and packed house. Author Castillo reads four selections from the novel, introducing its key characters and reinforcing the audience's decision to buy a copy of the novel. Or several.

The booksigning, following an hour's question period, consumes an hour of its own. What exhausting work it must be. Seated at the table, the author chats extensively with anyone who strolls up to her chair. Several appeared to be old friends. Several brought shopping bags filled with the novel, ten copies.

I didn't get a photo of Castillo's silver bracelet, a spectacular wrap around sculpture that extended from wrist to elbow.

From my spot near the end of the line, having watched her sit, sign, stand, smile, flash, sit, greet, sign, stand, photo. Another, with a friend. Hey, get Marta in here, too. Flash. Wait, one more!

Speeding along the process, the bookstore had interleaved the dust jacket to the signing page, and an IMIX staff coursed the line with a handful of Post-It notes and printed one's name for Castillo to personalize the autograph. Then along came a woman named Diana Faust holding an open novel showing the lined up purchasers "Do you know she's signing this page?"

Best laid aft agley and all that. Most gente placed their copy on the author's table with the cover closed and the dustjacket pulled, forcing her to leaf through to find the page and add the valued dedication.

To view these images at a larger size, click the link in the title or visit Read! Raza for the layout.

IMIX books inventories an excellent collection of literature for all ages. Elisa will order any title and have it ready for pick-up within a few days. A bricks and mortar bookstore is the only way to fly.

Look for a review of The Guardians upcoming from one or another of La Bloga's blogueras or blogueros.

Eighth month second week tempus fugit. Remember, La Bloga welcomes your comments and observations on the day's column. If you've an idea, an finished review or other commentary you'd like to share at La Bloga, click here, or email one of the blogueras blogueros.

Hasta next week, hasta.



Anonymous said...

Ana Castillo has a blog too.

Lisa Alvarado said...

M -- This sounds like a fantastic night...the store offering a once-in- a-lifetime evening, Castillo making an indelible mark and feeding the crowd with her graciousness, and of course, the power of her words.