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BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL: Participating Latino Authors

30,000 people cannot be wrong.

That’s how many are expected to attend the 5th Annual Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday, September 12, at Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street). The Festival will feature 200 authors, 175 vendors and 13 venues to explore.

This will be my first Festival, and I am looking forward to all of it – the signings, readings, and meeting Latino authors like Charlie Rice-Gonzalez, Esmeralda Santiago, Brando Skyhorse, Daniel Serrano, Dahlma Llanos Figueroa, Christina Garcia, Torrey Maldonado, Daisy Martinez and Sofia Quintero.

Torrey Maldonado (SECRET SATURDAYS) has gone in years past when he was a “fresh-face” teacher dreaming of becoming a novelist. Now he is a participating author on a panel next to his idol Jacqueline Woodson and Pulitzer Prize-winner Charles Fuller. “I’ve invited my school’s students and their families to show them that dreams come true. Magic will happen on that stage.”

A veteran of the literary festival circuit, hometown author Sofia Quintero (EFRAIN’S SECRET) is actually participating in the Festival for the first time. “I’m very excited about it,” she says. “As young as it is, I think the Brooklyn Book Festival is already one of the best book fairs out there.” And, this self-confessed “criticona” knows what she’s talking about.

Festivals like this one bring readers and writers together, foster a sense of community and shine the spotlight on the world of books. Plus, having so many Latino writers participating helps expose them to new audiences.

These book festivals are “crucial!” to the Latino community exclaims author Cristina Garcia (THE LADY MATADOR’S HOTEL). “They are important for fostering and maintaining community and reinforcing our many cultures.”

Charles Rice-Gonzalez (CHULITO) agrees. “There is a cultural resonance with Latino readers and writers,” he says. “[The Festival] provides a place for Latino readers to meet writers, get to know what is new and available, and it gives Latino writers a chance to come together, meet readers and connect with other writers and publishing industry folks.”

The connection between writer and reader is equally important. “The kind of reader that attends a book festival tends to be more open-minded than the average person browsing at the bookstore,” states Sofia Quintero. “She is less likely to assume that because an author or protagonist is of a different race or ethnicity that the story is just for ‘them.’ He is more willing to ‘crossover’ to us than always expecting that we deracialize our stories to crossover to him.” And given the current socio-political climate, Sofia thinks that Latinos who are searching for people outside our community to build relationships would do well to attend a book festival and make new friends.

And speaking of new friends…. La Casa Azul Bookstore and its owner Aurora Anaya Cerda and Las Comadres Para las Americas, led by the charismatic Nora Comstock, have partnered and will be featuring Latino authors at their booth (#131) all day long. (The scheduled line-up is below.)

These ladies are very excited to be participating in the Brooklyn Book Festival for the first time. “The audience that comes to the festival is very diverse,” says Aurora. “You see families, children, abuelitos, college students of all nationalities.”

We hope you too can join us on Sunday, September 12, in Brooklyn, for a fun-filled day of books and an opportunity to make new friends. For more information and directions, visit♥

Booth 131 – La Casa Azul Bookstore & Las Comadres

11:30am – Christina Garcia

11:50am – Torrey Maldonado

12:10pm – Lemon Andersen

12:30pm – Alberto Ferreras

12:50pm – Ada Limon

1:10pm – Ana Galan

1:30pm – Daisy Martinez

1:50pm – Brando Skyhorse

2:10pm – Michelle Herrera Mulligan and Sofia Quintero

2:30pm – Esmeralda Santiago

3:00pm – Sandra Rodriguez Barron

3:20pm – Daniel Serrano

3:40pm – Dahlma Llanos Figueroa

4:00pm – Sergio Troncoso

For more information on Las Comadres Para las Americas, visit

For more information on La Casa Azul Bookstore, visit