First post in Author News, so here we go.
On Tuesday, Feb. 8, the day "Down & Delirious in Mexico City" goes on sale, I'm doing my first reading from the book at Writers Week at UC Riverside. Here's the release from the UCR newsroom and from the Deparment of Creative Writing.
Writers Week is an annual event at one of the nation's premier creative writing programs, and I'm honored to receive the invitation from Professor Michael Jayme, the El Monte native and author of "Every Night Is Ladies' Night." On the bill this year is Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic (and FIL homie) Jonathan Gold, and my friend Ben Ehrenreich, author of "The Suitors," among many other great writers.
I'm proud to start the roll-out of this book at the University of California, my struggling alma mater, and especially happy to do it at UCR. Riverside has the highest rates of underrepresented minority and low-income students in the University of California system, making it one of the most ethnically and economically diverse university campuses in the world. The campus's central library is named after Tomas Rivera, the trailblazing author of "... y no se lo trago la tierra," a life-long educator and the first minority chancellor in the UC system.
Also, on Thursday, Feb. 10, I'm presenting the book at Calacas in downtown Santa Ana, hosted by author and journalist Gustavo Arellano. Here's the announcement at the OC Weekly. Santa Ana, of course, is the oh-so Mexican county seat of Orange County and the first front, Gustavo might say, in the "reconquista."
Excited for this event, too. While I know I gotta technically read from the book this week, what I'm most looking forward to with this process are the discussions. I wanna hear what people are thinking these days about Mexico, migration, transnationality, books and publishing, Southern California, the drug war, subcultures, megacities, chilango-isms, the border, whatever comes up.
So please come out and say hi if you're in the area.
And here's something else I just noticed. Simon & Schuster has posted an excerpt from the book online. It's Chapter 6, "The Lake of Fire."
* Reading dates and locations for Los Angeles and San Diego coming soon! I can tell you right now, though, the big L.A. event is gonna be the bomb.
** Photo above, the carillon bell tower on the UC Riverside campus, via Flickr.