Imagine a near future when the reaction to immigration reform has reached the boiling point, a time when the current war of words against Latinos has escalated into vigilante violence. That nightmare scenario is the premise for AMERICA LIBRE a novel by Raul Ramos y Sanchez released by Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books).
Set in Los Angeles, the provocative novel envisions a near-future where once-peaceful immigration rallies explode into riots against the violence of self-appointed border patrols and urban vigilantes. As the violence escalates, the U.S. Southwest is embroiled in a Latino war of liberation. Amid the chaos in his L.A. barrio, decorated Afghan vet Manolo Suarez finds himself romantically drawn to a Latina radical activist, threatening his marriage, his family--and his loyalty to his country.
Along with its timely premise, the novel has also garnered literary praise. A 2008 International Latino Book Award winner, AMERICA LIBRE has been called "thrilling and vibrant" by New York Times best-selling author James Rollins and a "sweeping, intense novel of extremism, fear and consequences" by Publishers Weekly. The novel has also built a considerable grassroots following on the Internet in scores of blog reviews and interviews and is a popular subject on Twitter.
Interest in the novel in Southern California has come from extremely diverse sources. The author has been invited to appear at a wide variety of events including colleges, community meetings, and bookstores along with a media appearances ranging from mainstream news to hip-hop deejays. The events listed below are open to the public. I encourage you to attend and take part in the discussions on the timely issues raised by AMERICA LIBRE.
September 21 -- Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena - 7:00pm
Vroman's Bookstore, Southern California's oldest and largest independent bookstore, hosts a reading and book signing for AMERICA LIBRE. Live entertainment by Max Vasquez & Friends ÔÇô including an original composition inspired by the novel. Location: 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101 - PH: 626-449-5320. http://www.vromansbookstore.com/raul-ramos-y-sanchez
Sept. 23 -- Libreria Martinez, Santa Ana - 7:30pm
Libreria Martinez owned by MacArthur "genius" grant recipient Rueben Martinez hosts a panel discussion and book signing for America Libre. Panelists include Abel Salas, Editor Brooklyn & Boyle magazine; Juan Manuel Casas, author of Frederico Villalba's Texas; and Estefan?¡a Serrano a student and political activist. Live entertainment. Location: 1200 N. Main St., Suite 100-D, Santa Ana, CA 92701 - PH: 714-973-7900. http://www.latinobooks.com/events.html
September 24 -- Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, San Diego - 7:00pm
Mysterious Galaxy Books will host an AMERICA LIBRE reading, Q&A session and book signing. Location: 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, #302, San Diego, CA 92111 ÔÇô PH: 858.268.4747.