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Luis Rodriguez returns to the Bay Area

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 @ 6:00 pm - Thursday, July 12, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

Luis J. Rodriguez, will read from his latest book, his long-awaited sequel to his bestselling memoir Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. Now in paper back, and National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing details the intense struggles Luis has had as a writer, father, husband, revolutionary, and healer, including dealing with addictions, family abuse, and a son who did a total of fifteen years in prison.

“Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams: How the Arts are Transforming a Community” is both a book and film. Economic restructuring during the 1970s decimated the once numerous local aerospace and manufacturing jobs in the San Fernando Valley leading to widespread unemployment and street gangs. Truly a wasteland, there were no bookstores or art galleries in Pacoima or Sylmar until Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural and Bookstore opened in 2001. The multi-media community space quickly became a mecca for performances, workshops, a publishing imprint and a youth empowerment project.
“Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams: How the Arts are Transforming a Community” is a new book documenting the positive changes occurring in Pacoima and Sylmar because of the emerging community arts. Co-edited by Luis Rodriguez and Cal State Northridge Professor Denise Sandoval, it includes essays, poems, paintings and photos from over a dozen contributors on the vibrant arts community at Tia Chucha’s and at events like the annual literary festival “Celebrating Words.” It includes essays by teachers, leaders, youth activists, artists, poets, and others as well as photos, art images, poems, histories, interviews, and more. It is a 9 x 9 table top book, beautifully designed by Tia Chucha Press’s designer Jane Brunette.

Bay Area talk/reading/signing/film screenings:

Tuesday, July 10th
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

César E. Chávez Branch Library
3301 E 12th Street, Suite 271
Oakland, CA 94601
Books available for purchase by Modern Times Bookstore.


Wednesday, July 11th
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
Koret Auditorium, lower level
San Francisco, CA 94102
Books available for purchase by Friends Library.


Thursday, July 12th
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

826 Valencia
826 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Books available for purchase by Modern Times Bookstore.

In a harrowing journey from drugged-out gang member to one of the most revered figures in Chicano literature and American letters, Luis J. Rodriguez continues the remarkable story of his bestselling memoir, “Always Running.”
Hundreds of thousands of readers came to know Luis J. Rodriguez through his fearless classic, “Always Running,” which chronicled his early life as a young Chicano gang member surviving the dangerous streets of East Los Angeles. The long-awaited follow-up, and the winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award, “It Calls You Back “is the equally harrowing story of Rodriguez’s attempt to start over, at age eighteen, after his final stint in jail and nearly a decade of gang life. He describes with heartbreaking honesty his challenges as a father, and his difficulty leaving his rages and addictions completely behind. Even as he breaks with “la vida loca” and begins to discover success as a writer and an activist, Rodriguez finds that his past–the crimes, the drugs, the things he’d seen and done–has a way of calling him back.
When his oldest son is sent to prison for attempted murder, Rodriguez is forced to confront his shortcomings as a father and to acknowledge how and why his own history is repeating itself, right before his eyes.

About the Author:
The son of Mexican migrants, LUIS J. RODRÍGUEZ began writing in his early teens and has won national recognition as a poet, journalist, fiction writer, children’s book writer, and critic. Rodriguez co-founded Tia Chucha Press and Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore, a cultural center in Northeast San Fernando Valley. He is currently working as a peacemaker among gangs on a national and international level.
Rodriguez is a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for It Calls You Back and was named one of LA Weekly’s People of the Year in 2012. He has appeared on national television, radio and has an extensive speaking schedule. Please visit his website at www.LuisJRodriguez.com.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012 @ 6:00 pm
Thursday, July 12, 2012 @ 8:00 pm


826 Valencia