Named after actor/director/author/activist Edward James Olmos, The Edward James Olmos 6th Annual Houston Latino Book and Family Festival has a cumbersome title. Thankfully, thats the only criticism anyone has ever had about the festival, which claims to be the fastest-growing book fair in Texas.
This years festival includes an appearance by our own Gustavo Arellano, writer of the syndicated ¡Ask a Mexican! column. His book Orange County, A Personal History tells the story of his own familys immigration to the United States. (As soon as his great-grandfather and grandfather arrived in the U.S., they were attacked by a gang of white teenage boys, who threw rocks and insults at them.) The book also tells the larger story of Orange Countys transformation from a mostly white, mostly Republican area to one where whites are now in the minority and Democrats are increasing in power. From its opening sentence, Ive seen the Mexican future of this country, the coming Reconquista and its absolutely banal, Arellano leaves no doubt as to his views.
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Also on the schedule is Victor Villa-señor, who will be reading from his new book Crazy Loco Love. The fourth entry in his best-selling series of family memoirs, Crazy Loco Love is the coming-of-age story of a boy who lives in the shadow of his father. Stephanie Elizondo Griest will sign her book Mexican Enough, My Life Between the Border Lines, and Gwendolyn Zepeda will sign Growing Up with Tamales/Los tamales de Ana. Playwright and former Houstonian Alvaro Saar Rios will perform A Mexican in Milwaukee. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For information, call 713-867-8943 or visit www.nuestra-palabra.org. Free.
Sat., Sept. 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2008