The 2009/2010 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series celebrates Cinco de Mayo and closes its season with two native Texan writers, Oscar Casares and Gwendolyn Zepeda.
Oscar Casares was raised in Brownsville and is a life-long resident of Texas, where his collection of short stories, Brownsville: Stories, and now his first novel, Amigoland, are set. Marilynne Robinson describes Casares’ fiction as “clear-eyed and fresh, full of sweet gravity and pensive humor.” Publishers Weekly says that Casares’ stories, “probing underneath the surface of Tex-Mex culture, with its wisecracking, temperamental, obsessive middle-aged men and their dramas straight from neighborhood gossip, are in the direct line of descent from Mark Twain and Ring Lardner.” Casares is the recipient of a 2006 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and now teaches creative writing at the University of Texas in Austin, where he lives with his wife and young son.
Gwendolyn Zepeda, a native Houstonian, is the author of the popular blog gwenworld.com, the story collection To the Last Man I Slept with and All the Jerks Just Like Him, her debut novel, Houston, We Have a Problem, and her latest novel, Lone Star Legend , which Booklist describes as “fresh and smart.” The San Antonio Current says of Zepeda’s story collection that it is “brutally candid, laugh-out-loud, feminist, barrio manifesto that sometimes reads like suggestive science fiction cross-pollinated with Tess of the d’Urbervilles.” Booklist says “the vibrant Houston setting and the novel’s emphasis on Tex-Mex culture, art and folklore adds unusual and alluring touches to this debut novel.” Zepeda is also a blogger for the Houston Chronicle.
The reading will be followed by an onstage interview conducted by Marina Tristan, assistant director of Arte Público Press at the University of Houston, the nation's largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovery literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. The evening concludes with a book sale and signing conducted by Brazos Bookstore.