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News Release — October 20, 2008

Carmen Tafolla

Carmen Tafolla to read at the Wittliff Collections

SAN MARCOS, Texas— One of the most anthologized of Latina writers, Carmen Tafolla comes to Texas State University-San Marcos on October 30 for a reading at the Wittliff Collections. Tafolla is celebrating her newest book, The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans: A Feast of Short Fiction.

As a helping of “down-home magical realism,” The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans collects 16 short stories that explore the human spirit inherent in the bilingual, bicultural world of the Texas-Mexico border. With a fresh sense of humor and human understanding, these stories skillfully bridge the gap between miracles and tragedies, prejudice and transcendence, and oppression and liberation. The collection draws upon a wide range of emotions but comes together in a singular, powerful voice that reflects the holiness found in everyday life.

Many of Tafolla’s works, she says, are dictated by “ancestors whispering over my shoulder.” She has published for both children and adults in more than two hundred anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks, and readers, including the 2006 anthology of Texas-Mexican literature, Hecho en Tejas, edited by Dagoberto Gilb and published in the Wittliff’s Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series.

Long considered one of the madrinas of Chicana Literature and a master of bilingual code-switching, Tafolla is an internationally acclaimed writer and educational consultant. A poet, author, and sought-after speaker and performer, she has published five books of poetry, eight children’s picture books, seven television screenplays, one non-fiction volume, and The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans, her first collection of short stories.

Called a world-class writer by Roots author Alex Haley, Tafolla, who holds a doctorate from UT Austin, has been recognized by the National Association for Chicano Studies for her outstanding contributions to the arts and academia through literature that has depicted and given voice to Latino communities. Among her many honors is the 1999 Art of Peace award for writing that furthers peace, justice, and human understanding. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Carmen Tafolla’s visit to Texas State is co-sponsored by the Wittliff Collections, the College of Applied Arts, and the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Dr. Tafolla will be introduced by Dr. Ana Juárez, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Texas State.

The reading at the Wittliff Collections on Thursday, October 30, begins with an author reception at 4:00 pm. A book signing with Tafolla will follow the reading. Copies of The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans will be for sale courtesy of the University Bookstore, along with copies of Tafolla’s recent bilingual children’s book, That's Not Fair! / ¡No Es Justo!: Emma Tenayuca's Struggle for Justice/La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia by Carmen Tafolla, Sharyll Teneyuca, and Terry Ybanez.

Due to upcoming construction to expand the Wittliff Collections, this event will be held on the fifth floor of Texas State’s Alkek Library. For more information, call (512) 245-2313.