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Prolific authors to gather in the Valley for bilingual book event

Co-sponsored by Social Transformation Lab and Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, this event centers the importance of language, community and culture


Collage of portraits of authors (from left to right) Manuel Muñoz, Sandra Cisneros and Liliana Valenzuela.

Authors (from left to right) Manuel Muñoz, Sandra Cisneros and Liliana Valenzeula. Photo courtesy ASU's Social Transformation Lab

November 10, 2022

Arizona is among a unique group of states whose southern lines border Mexico, and where recent conversations about the U.S.-Mexico border have been colored by political strife and humanitarian crises like family separation and harsh punishment for those seeking to cross. 

Arizona State University has played a major role in shaping emerging stories about the relationship between the border and the insurgence of creative events to uplift artists on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. At ASU’s Social Transformation Lab, that mission to center those unique perspectives is no different.

The Social Transformation Lab is partnering with Palabras Bilingual Bookstore to co-sponsor the upcoming event “Cisneros & Muñoz & Valenzuela: Bilingual Reading and Conversation,” featuring three prolific authors, Sandra Cisneros (author of "Woman Without Shame/Mujer sin vergüenza"), Manuel Muñoz (author of "The Consequences: Stories") and Liliana Valenzuela (author of "Codex of Love: Bendita ternura" and translator of "Mujer sin vergüenza").The event will take place at 6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Education Lecture Hall on ASU's Tempe campus. Registration for the event is now open.

At Saturday's event, the authors will read excerpts from their books that touch on the perplexities of existing between language, space and between borders. The event will be presented in English and partially in Spanish.

"In a climate where the state legislative process is used to limit young people’s access to books like Sandra Cisneros’ classic novel "The House on Mango Street," universities play an important role in creating the conditions for open dialogue and learning” says Mako Fitts Ward, director at the Social Transformation Lab.

“To have Cisneros in conversation with award-winning writers Manuel Muñoz and Liliana Valenzuela is a testament to the lab’s commitment to storytelling as imaginative meaning-making that offers opportunities for critical thought and healing in a time of social volatility.”

Palabras Bookstore, located in downtown Phoenix, has been a staple in the Valley since 2015 and aims to “promote cultural representation and liberation of historically marginalized BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color, including all intersectionalities) through community engagement involving literature and the arts,” as noted on its website.

“It's important for the lab to work with the local community inside and beyond ASU” says Celina Osuna, a postdoctoral scholar at the Social Transformation Lab. “Palabras, as Arizona's only bilingual bookstore, does the work of bringing people together to celebrate diverse voices and creative practices like fiction, poetry and art. We’re delighted to collaborate with them for this event.”

For more information on this event, check out the event Facebook page, visit Palabras’ event webpage or contact Palabras Bilingual Bookstore at (602) 595-9600 or info@palabrasbookstore.com. Visit the Palabras online bookstore to order books by the featured authors.

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