Monday, January 18, 2010

On the road with “Anywhere But L.A.”

It is often said that writing is a lonely calling: It’s just you and your imagination. True, many a fiction writer has expressed the belief that his or her characters seem quite real and that they do and say pretty much what they want. But using imaginary friends as a defense to this solitary calling simply confirms the lonesomeness of it all.

However, relief eventually comes in the form of book readings, when the author gets to interact with readers, face-to-face. Well, I have two upcoming book events that I want to share with you regarding my new short-story collection, Anywhere But L.A. (Bilingual Press).

The first event will be held this Thursday, January 21, 7:30 p.m., at the legendary independent bookstore, Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. 650-324-4321, not too far from my alma mater, Stanford University. In fact, this event is co-sponsored by the Chicano/Latino Student Alumni Association of Northern California. If you wish to join us for a no-host dinner before the reading, we will be meeting right next door at 5:30 p.m. at Café Borrone. To make certain we have a correct head count for dinner, drop an e-mail to Carleen Pino. There will be a special treat: award-winning novelist Michael Nava will be introducing me at the reading. For more information, visit Kepler’s announcement of the event.

The second event is scheduled for Monday, January 25, at 6:30 p.m. and will be a joint appearance with one of my favorite writers, Graciela Limón at the East Los Angeles Library, 4837 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90022. Phone: 323-264-0155. We will discuss magic and realism in contemporary Chicano literature. A reception and book signing will highlight the evening. Graciela’s newest book is The River Flows North (Arte Público Press). If you haven’t seen Graciela at a book event, you are in for a special time. This is a free event.

So, these are two ways that will help keep me from becoming a lonely writer. I’d be honored if you could make either event. If you have any questions, you may e-mail me at or visit my website.

Rigoberto González, an award-winning writer living in New York City, reviews Lorraine M. López’s new book, Homicide Survivors Picnic (BkMk Press), for the El Paso Times. He observes, in part:

Lorraine M. López made her notable debut in 2002 with the story collection "Soy La Avon Lady." Two novels later, she returns to her strength as a master tragicomic storyteller with "Homicide Survivors Picnic" (BkMk Press, $16.95), a book that explores the Latino family's intercultural and interracial experiences in the American South.

◙ Writing for the Sacramento Bee, Álvaro Huerta discusses immigration reform. A taste of what he says:

While both Republicans and Democrats speak about America’s dysfunctional immigration policies and the desperate need for immigration reform, the primary consensus between both political parties focuses on the need for tougher enforcement. The focus here is to criminalize undocumented immigrants, deporting them and preventing future low-wage immigrants from entering this country.

Where's the humane discourse in this political debate? Are we not talking about human beings with ambitions and dreams to better themselves and their families? Are we not talking about vulnerable individuals who sacrifice so much with their bodies and labor power so that Americans can live more comfortable lives?

Read the entire piece here.

◙ Last year, René did a beautiful post in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here’s the post in case you missed it.

◙ That’s all for this Monday…A bit short but this week will be busy as I try to wrap things up at work to take our little trip to Northern California for the Kepler’s reading and a little time alone. In the meantime, enjoy the intervening posts from mis compadres y comadres here on La Bloga. And remember: ¡Lea un libro!


msedano said...

Looking forward to the Jan25 reading with Graciela Limón. Glad seeing Michael Nava on the campaign trail, as well as the literary one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the event reminder for yourself and Graciela Limón...just want to mention that it is for WEDNESDAY 1/25..not on Monday as mentioned in this post...not to nit-pick, just wouldn't want anyone to miss the event (or get their a couple days early)...

Anonymous said...

oops, I meant "there" not "their"

Alvaro Huerta said...

Congratulations on all your success, Daniel. You are a true role model in our community!

Daniel A. Olivas said...

Gracias for the support!

As for the correct day of the East Los Angeles Library event, it is for MONDAY, JANUARY 25. The library website has the correct date, but not the day. I've dropped an email to the events planner to get that fixed. So, next Monday, come on by!

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