Héctor Tobar’s The Barbarian Nurseries was published in 2011, but it remains, unfortunately, as relevant as ever in our debates about immigrants and borders. So wrote Reyna Grande in her passionate foreword to the 10th-anniversary edition of the novel. Grande’s moving memoir The Distance Between Us was the November 2020 selection for the California Book Club. We are thrilled for her return to the CBC—this time as a special guest to talk with Tobar and host John Freeman about Tobar’s novel.
In 2012, The Distance Between Us was a finalist in the autobiography/memoir category of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Grande has also authored the critically acclaimed novels Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies. She has received an American Book Award, the Premio Aztlán Literary Prize, and the International Latino Book Award.
In her foreword to Tobar’s novel, she noted the disappointment she feels when a list of “best books about California” comes out and very few Latinx writers are featured. She explained, “Latinxs are the largest ethnic group in the Golden State, yet our version of it is often overlooked.” She noted that she saw herself in Araceli, the undocumented live-in maid in Tobar’s novel.
Grande wrote in her foreword that she’d hoped to be able to show her son, now 19, Tobar’s novel. She had hoped to be able to say, “Here is how it used to be.” But 10 years later, sadly, it is still that way. The DREAM Act—legislation to give temporary conditional residency and create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors—has still not passed.
Hopefully, one day, we’ll be able to say, with Grande, “Here is how it used to be.” But in the meantime, pull up a chair and join us in listening to Thursday’s insightful conversation about The Barbarian Nurseries. This is going to be good.
Here are the details:
- When: Thursday, December 16, at 5 p.m. Pacific time.
- Where: Join with the Zoom link below.
- Author questions: Please send your questions for Tobar to email@example.com. You can also submit them using Zoom's chat feature after the event begins.
- Bonus: We will be giving away five author-signed copies of The Barbarian Nurseries following the program.
Thank you very much, and see you on Thursday!•
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