Friday, February 18, 2011

Summary of Presentation by Galveston Reads Author Luis Alberto Urrea

By Casey Canton on Friday, February 18, 2011

Last night I attended Luis Alberto Urrea’s presentation on his book “Into the Beautiful North” at Galveston College. When I walked in, I was relieved to see they had light snacks and refreshments, so I took a cookie and a cup of juice and found a seat. The room filled up fast and they had to bring in dozens of extra chairs to accommodate the crowd. It was nice to see so many people interested in reading! I saw several familiar faces there including my government professor and his wife, friends from the Rosenberg library, and a couple of friends from around the campus.

I was pleasantly surprised at the entertainment value of the presentation. Urrea is a pretty funny guy and has a sly way of making his audience chuckle while concurrently taking in the gravity of his message. He talked for about an hour about where he grew up, how he came to America, and told stories of his family. He explained how he incorporated family and friends from his journey into the book with heartfelt meaning and dedication. His stories captivated me and I found myself enthralled as the words danced off his tongue with lingual finesse. It mimicked the feeling of the climax of a really good movie.

Urrea closed his presentation with a Q & A session in which he answered questions from the audience for about thirty minutes, during which he mentions that the book has a movie in the works, as does one of his other books, “The Hummingbird’s Daughter.” After meticulously answering several questions from the crowd, he proceeded to the back of the room where he signed books and chatted with people as they moved through the line.

This was my first experience of attending a book signing and presentation of this nature. Having only read a few chapters of “Into the Beautiful North,” I am now even more enthusiastic about diving in and finishing this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and I am grateful that the possibility for extra credit in class lured me in. In the future I will probably jump at the chance for an opportunity like this.



Saturday, February 5, 2011

Movie Screening of “The Magnificent Seven” for Galveston Reads

Galveston Reads will be hosting a movie screening of “The Magnificent Seven” with discussion immediately following the movie. This event will be held at Galveston College at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, February 8, 2011. The facilitator for the group discussion will be Alan Griffin, who has lead several past discussions for Galveston Reads. . “The Magnificent Seven” was selected for the showing and group discussion because this movie inspired the heroine of Into the Beautiful North, this year’s Galveston Reads book, to set off from Mexicoon a journey to the United States to recruit seven men, her own “Siete Magnificos” to defend her hometown. The book’s heroine must embark, on this journey from her native village in Mexico because all the able bodied men have migrated north to work in the United States.

Into the Beautiful North was written by Luis Alberto Urrea, a Pulitzer Prize finalist who draws on his Mexican-American heritage for many of his insights. In the words of Dr. Curley, one of the Galveston Reads panelists, “Urrea’s background qualifies him as a voice of the border. He was raised Mexican in Tijuana and then American in San Diego by a Mexican father and an American mother.” Urrea has said “the border runs down the middle of me. I have a barbed-wire fence neatly bisecting my heart.” As part of this year’s Galveston Reads activities, Mr. Urrea, has been invited to make a presentation for the Galveston Reads series on February 17th at the Galveston College auditorium

This version of Akira Kurasawa’s “Seven Samurai” is an American remake with Yul Brynner leading the seven gunslingers to repel the banditos, similar to the drug lords making their way into Tres Camarones from the book Into the Beautiful North.

Galveston Reads, is a “One City, One Book” program, which has selected the book, Into the Beautiful North, by Luis Alberto Urrea for this year. Galveston Reads encourages reading by offering programs held at various locations throughout Galveston County that revolve around the selection.

Continue the journey with Nayeli and her friends by attending the screening of the movie “The Magnificent Seven”. This is the second event of the current Galveston Reads year. The season began with a book discussion at Mod Coffee House, followed by a well attended Professors’ Panel in the Wortham Auditorium at the Rosenberg Library. Galveston Reads book discussions and events start in January and continue through March.

The journey will continue with several more book discussions, events such as the author’s visit on February 17 at Galveston College, and the closing event at the Original Mexican restaurant. Please join the Galveston community in watching and discussing this movie at Galveston College.

Time: 6:30 pm

Galveston College

4015 Ave. Q, Room FA 207

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

For more information or schedule of events about the one city/one book project, Galveston Reads visit

All events are free and open to the public.