Haven't heard of Mario Alberto Zambrano yet? Well, get ready to because if his debut novel Lotería is any indication, he's about to be the next big thing in literary circles. Lotería follows Luz Castillo, a girl who recounts the death of her family using a pack of lotería cards. ''When tragedy strikes, we sometimes try to escape it by looking away, by alleviating our-selves from it,'' Zambrano told us via e-mail. ''Often, we need other stories to rescue us. We might find solace in a book or a prayer, sometimes a painting or a photograph. Some-times it can be as simple as a deck of cards.''
Stretching back over 500 years, lotería cards, part of a traditional Mexican family game, are full of symbolism and riddles. For Castillo, they are the only way she can come to terms with a sister in critical condition and a father in jail.
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Zambrano reads from and signs Lotería at 7 p.m. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bisson-net. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free.
Thu., Sept. 19, 7 p.m., 2013