Luis J. Rodriguez is not just a best-selling author, not just the poet laureate of Los Angeles, not just a bear of an hombre AND owner of the awesome independent bookstore Tía Chucha's in Sylmar–he's all that and a mensch and a half. I've seen Rodriguez talk for hours after his reading, hearing stories and offering advice to people of all walks of life.
He's also someone who, unlike most LA-based authors, ain't no stranger to big, bad OC. He's done more than a few appearances at the Centro Cultural de México, and I had the honor of introducing him at the Fullerton Public Library some years back. He must've liked my spiel, because now I get to have the bigger honor of having a conversation with him before ustedes to kick off OC's version of The Big Read, the library-led phenomenon that has readers of a city/college/county reading the same book, with events pegged around it.
This year, OC's Big Read selection is Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, a fine read. Urrea, alas, is unavailable to visit Orange County, so the Big Read's sponsors–OC Public Libraries, the local chapter of REFORMA (a national organization of Latino librarians) have invited other Chicano authors as able substitutes.
As for Rodriguez and I: expect us to talk about his career, his campaign for California's governor seat last year, his outlook on the presidential campaigns for next year, his poetry, and a whole bunch of DESMADRE.
The event will happen THIS SATURDAY at the Bowers Museum's Kershaw Auditorium, 2002 N. Main St, SanTana, (714) 567-3600. Starts at 2 p.m., and attendance is FREE–but call ahead because this will probably sell out. See you there!