April, 15 2023


  • 11:15 am - 12:15 pm
  •    |   Location of Session: Latino Collection Resource Center
  • Adult Sessions
  • Start of Signing: 12:30 pm
  •    |   Signing Location: Festival Marketplace

About the Event

In their debut books, 2022 National Book Award–honored authors Marytza K. Rubio (Maria, Maria & Other Stories) and Alejandro Varela (The Town of Babylon) depict characters chasing freedom—across countries, realms, and the suburbs. Join Rubio and Varela for a conversation on reading and writing contemporary literature set in the Americas. Presented in partnership with the National Book Foundation.

About the Author

Marytza K. Rubio - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Julie Leopo

Marytza K. Rubio

Marytza K. Rubio is a writer from Santa Ana, California. She has an MFA in Creative Writing: Latin America from Queens University of Charlotte and is the founder of Makara Center for the Arts, a nonprofit library and art center in her hometown. Her debut collection, Maria, Maria: And Other Stories, was longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction.

 Alejandro Varela - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Allison Michael Orenstein

Alejandro Varela

Alejandro Varela’s work has appeared in The Point MagazineBoston ReviewHarper’s, and the Offing, among other outlets. Varela is an editor-at-large of Apogee Journal. His graduate studies were in public health. His first book, The Town of Babylon, was a Finalist for the 2022 National Book Award for Fiction. The People Who Report More Stress, his second book, is a book of interconnected stories exploring modern stressors and anxieties as they relate to the body. 


 Alejandro Varela - The San Antonio Book Festival

Ruth Dickey

Ruth Dickey is the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation and has spent over 25 years working at the intersection of community building, writing, and art. Prior to the Foundation, she served as Executive Director of Seattle Arts & Lectures. A builder and believer in big dreams, Ruth has had the pleasure of leading organizations in Washington, DC; New Orleans, LA; Cincinnati, OH; and Seattle, WA to dramatically expand their community impact. Ruth holds an MFA in poetry from UNC-Greensboro, and a BS in Foreign Service and an MA in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. She was a 2017 fellow with the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, and served as a judge in Fiction for the 2019 National Book Awards.
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