Latinx Book Club: Where There Was Fire by John Manuel Arias
October 24 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The Writer's Block
519 S 6th St #100, Las Vegas, NV 89101
About the Event
So you’ve read Bolaño, Allende, Márquez, but find yourself craving more Latinx books published, say, within the last five years? Centering voices from Central America and the Caribbean? Queer stories? ¿Libros que te enseñen algo nuevo y diferente? Then this book club’s for you! Join us as we gather to discuss some of the brilliant new books being published by writers across the Latinx diaspora. No te lo pierdas. The book club is open to folks of all backgrounds, as well as English, Spanish, and bilingual (ENG/SP) speakers.
Edgar Gomez is a Florida-born writer with roots in Nicaragua and Puerto Rico. A graduate of University of California, Riverside’s MFA program, their words have appeared in Poets & Writers, Narratively, Catapult, Lithub, The Rumpus, and elsewhere online and in print. Their memoir, High-Risk Homosexual, was called a “breath of fresh air” by The New York Times, named a Best Book of 2022 by Publisher’s Weekly, Buzzfeed, and Electric Literature, and received a 2023 Stonewall Honor Award. Their second book, a memoir about money, Florida, and surviving under capitalism titled Alligator Tears, will be out in 2025 from Crown.
Costa Rica, 1968. When a lethal fire erupts at the American Fruit Company’s most lucrative banana plantation burning all evidence of a massive cover-up, the future of Teresa Cepeda Valverde’s family is changed forever.
Now, twenty-seven years later, Teresa and her daughter Lyra are still picking up the pieces. Lyra wants nothing to do with Teresa, but is desperate to find out what happened to her family that fateful night. Teresa, haunted by a missing husband and the bitter ghost of her mother, Amarga, is unable to reconcile the past. What unfolds is a story of a mother and daughter trying to forgive what they do not yet understand, and the mystery at the heart of one family’s rupture, steeped in machismo, jealousy, labor uprisings, and the havoc wreaked by banana plantations in Central America.
Brimming with ancestral spirits, omens, and the anthropomorphic forces of nature, John Manuel Arias weaves a brilliant tapestry of love, loss, secrets, and redemption in Where There Was Fire.