For the second time, the publication of a book of mine coincides with a presidential election year. Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories will be published this fall, five weeks ahead of election day. While fall is a busy time for new books to arrive on the scene, my concern is not that Living Color will …

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When your grandson’s birth is preceded by eleven days of street protests in the heart of Quito, does the smell of tear gas penetrate the womb, do the whir of helicopters and the boom of explosions echo inside the uterine wall, does all of it presage more disruptive events in his life? Ilio’s was not …

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Twitter is my compulsion during these coronavirus days. I’m a habitual scroller, madly clicking support on all posts about the appalling ineptitude and negligence of Trump, his shameful lies to cover his inaction and shameless self-congratulation for imaginary accomplishments. I retweet in support of authors whose celebrations and tours for their new books have been cancelled. …

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I have one firmly defined and achievable resolution, and I have one that is maybe not a resolution after all, but some vague hope. But I’m making a connection between that resolution and that hope, because I’m making a connection between that resolution and everything in my life. My resolution: To be able to have …

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This past year I read good books and experienced good things. Here are a few of each of them matched up in a semi-random, teeny bit calculated way, introduced by a few lines from the featured book. From “1989” in How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, a deeply perceptive and intelligent collection of essays by …

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When I was pregnant with my first daughter Natalie in 1986, the Chernobyl reactor exploded and the threat of a nuclear cloud passing over the Pacific Northwest and radiating the six-month old fetus inside me freaked me out. Later, when I was pregnant with Ana in 1989, tanks rolled over Tiananmen Square, scattering protestors, killing …

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I didn’t do any writing on our recent three-week vacation in Spain. I’d brought some work with me – notes on the novel I’m trying to finish, and ideas for a final story to add to a collection I’d previously considered ready to submit. Never touched any of it. Too busy sightseeing, eating (paella, bocadillos …

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Every month is literary for readers and writers, but it seemed like April has been especially full of events for me, both as participant and audience. Here’s a brief rundown: AWP I’m going to cheat and start with AWP, which was at the end of March, so practically April, right? I went to a lot …

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We, the once geeky and near-friendless high school students, who observed but never took part in cool happenings, who skirted the outermost margins of the outermost social groups, who always wore the wrong clothes and said the wrong thing – we grew into regular people. And some of us became writers who could avenge the …

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