Monday, April 28, 2014

Santa Monica Public Library celebrates The Big Read 2014: "Into the Beautiful North: A Novel" by Luis Alberto Urrea

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment.

Santa Monica Public Library is one of 77 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project in 2013/2014. This year, the library has chosen Luis Alberto Urrea’s novel, Into the Beautiful North (Little, Brown), which tells the story of nineteen-year-old Nayeli, who lives in Tres Camarones, a Mexican town nearly empty of men, including Nayeli's father, who went north to the U.S. to seek work. Inspired by the classic film, The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli and her three closest friends are commissioned by the new village president, Nayeli’s Aunt Irma, to travel north into the U.S. to bring back men to protect their town from encroaching drug-dealers. In this classic quest tale, Urrea uses humor and compassion to address issues of cultural differences and to depict the many borders in life that both divide and connect.

For a complete list of Big Read events, visit the Santa Monica Public Library’s website.

I am delighted that tomorrow night, I will help celebrate Into the Beautiful North by participating in a panel discussion at the Santa Monica Public Library. Here are the specifics:

WHEN: Tuesday, April 29

TIME: 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Main Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard

WHAT: Marissa Lopez, author of Chicano Nations, moderates this panel discussion on the history of Latino literature, as well as its contemporary incarnations. Learn about The Big Read author Luis Alberto Urrea’s place in the canon of fiction set in Mexico. Panelists include Daniel Olivas, author of seven books including The Book of Want; Reyna Grande, novelist, memoirist, and author of The Distance Between Us; and Veronica Reyes, Chicana feminist jota poet and author of Chopper! Chopper! Poetry from Bordered Lives.

The panelists, clockwise from top left:
Marissa Lopez, Reyna Grande, Veronica Reyes
and Daniel Olivas.
Come enjoy the fun!

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