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The Barbarian Nurseries: A Novel

Héctor Tobar
In conversation with Jesse Katz
Thursday, January 26, 2012
01:12:27
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Episode Summary

A live-in maid in the conflicted Torres-Thompson household is accused of kidnapping the family's children, when in fact, she is taking them by bus from Orange Co. to L.A. to find refuge with their grandfather. An authentic rendering of social and class divides from a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Tobar's brilliant novel redefines Southern California in the 21st century.


Participant(s) Bio

Héctor Tobar has worked as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times for nearly twenty years. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for the paper's coverage of the 1992 riots, and then served as the national Latino Affairs correspondent, the Buenos Aires bureau chief, and the Mexico City bureau chief. He currently writes a weekly column for the paper and is the author of three books, Translation Nation, The Tattooed Soldier, and, most recently, The Barbarian Nurseries. The son of Guatemalan immigrants, he is a native of the city of Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and three children.

Jesse Katz is the author of The Opposite Field, a memoir set in the immigrant suburb of Monterey Park. As a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, Jesse shared in two Pulitzer Prizes­-for coverage of the 1994 Northridge earthquake and the 1992 L.A. riots-and was named a Pulitzer finalist for his stories about street gangs. As a senior editor at Los Angeles magazine, he received the PEN Center USA's award for literary journalism. Jesse teaches literary journalism at the University of California, Irvine, and has mentored incarcerated teenagers as a volunteer with InsideOut Writers.



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