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California Book Club: Héctor Tobar
December 16, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Héctor Tobar’s “The Barbarian Nurseries” is the California Book Club’s December 2021 selection.
Tobar’s breakthrough 2011 novel presents a nuanced and moving look at a mixed-race family in Orange County as they confront the implications of race and class. The book deftly integrates a trio of perspectives: those of Scott and Maureen Torres-Thompson—self-made, upper middle class, and battered by the Great Recession—and their Mexican live-in maid, Araceli. Scott has Mexican roots himself (he is the Torres of the hyphenated last name), although he’s turned his back on them. Then, a fight between him and Maureen leaves Araceli to look after two of the couple’s children, with devastating effects. The result is a novel that digs deep into the racial, economic, and cultural divides of Southern California, exploring a domestic landscape in which everyone seems alienated from everyone else and no one can say, exactly, who they are.
Tobar will be in conversation with California Book Club host John Freeman, read selections from “The Barbarian Nurseries”, and answer your questions. Special guest Reyna Grande, author of the November 2020 California Book Club selection “The Distance Between Us,” will join them. Please join us!