Recently, a friend posted a link to a list of Chicano literature must-reads on her Facebook page. The list had been created by award-winning author and book critic Rigoberto González. I couldn’t contain myself! I just had to respond to her post: “Did you know that Rigoberto, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Tim Z. Hernandez, and Sarah Cortez will be part of the Tucson Festival of Books this year? Not to mention that Reyna Grande formed part of our programming last year?”
I felt positively giddy. And with good reason: This year, the Pima County Public Library’s Nuestras Raíces program at the festival promises to be fantastic!
Participating in the festival for the last six years, the library’s Nuestras Raíces Committee has set out to provide the community with a taste of the rich and complex world of literature by Mexican-American/Latino authors. This year’s lineup is no exception. It is dynamic, diverse, colorful and, like a delicious capirotada, every author brings his or her own signature ingredient to the festival.
There is definitely a little bit of something for everyone at the festival. As you may have guessed, I think with my stomach. So I’m particularly excited about Recetas con historias, a presentation in Spanish moderated by Daniel Contreras, Tucson’s very own El Guero Canelo. We will hear renowned Mexican chefs talk about food, family and tradition. There will also be food for the mind provided by Julio Cammarota and Augustine Romero, who helped create the Mexican American Studies program for the Tucson Unified School District.
Finally, I recommend catching the fabulous Nuestras Raíces Youth Mariachi Showcase, where local Tucson youth Mariachi bands show off their amazing musical talents.
¡Están invitados! Please come celebrate the exciting array of Latino literature and culture at the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books.