News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Monday, April 11, 2011

Arkansas Literary Festival

Along with meeting new readers, the Arkansas Book Festival introduced me to the work of several authors I thought you'd like to know as well.

I've already started EXILES IN EDEN by Paul Reyes and am captivated by his poetic prose and unflinching insights into the human fallout of the toxic real estate assets accumulated by the nation's largest investment firms. Paul is contributing editor with Virgina Quarterly Review. His work has appeared in the Oxford American, Harper’s, the New York Times, Slate, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, Details, Men’s Vogue, and Mississippi Review. In 2010 he received a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Another author I met with a fascinating book premise is Robert Reising. He is co-author of CHASING MOONLIGHT, the real life story of the Doc "Moonlight" Graham character played by Burt Lancaster in FIELD OF DREAMS. Bob was catcher on Michigan State University's 1954 Big Ten Conference championship team. He went on to become the head baseball coach at Duke and Furman universities and the University of South Carolina. As a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, he became the world's foremost scholar on Jim Thorpe.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez and Robert W. Reising
A third writer whose work I found intriguing is Matt de la Peña, a YA author with a unique perspective on the Latino experience for all young readers. His first novel, MEXICAN WHITE BOY, reveals the challenges of being a person who defies ethnic stereotypes.

My thanks again to the staff of the Arkansas Literary Festival for bringing readers and writers together and sharing the gift of the written word.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez