Thursday, October 26, 2006

The first leg

Up until my book reading in Carmichael, Ca., most of my audiences were made up of Filipino Americans, with a sprinking of Anglos here and there -- those who had followed my columns in the San Francisco Chronicle. So when I walked into the newly remodeled library and saw the chairs filled with all caucasians, a surge of panic came over me. What if they didn't understand the humor in my book? What if they saw my readings as the cliche rantings of a minroity who didn't appreciate what they had in America? It was too late -- I had already marked the excerpts off with orange Post-Its, and I didn't have time to switch things around. Besides, did I really have anything in the book that was geared toward an all-white group? I started by thanking everyone for coming and telling them why I wrote the book. "The California my kids grew up in was different from the California I grew up in," I started. "They were raised in a diverse community with a strong Filipino community. I was raised in a city where I was the only minority in the whole school."
I looked at the friendly looking gray-haried woman seated in the front row. She gave me a look, as if to say, "I'm sorry." I proceeded with the three excerpts that I had stuck to at all my readings during the first leg of this book tour. A laugh here, and gasp there. Surprisingly, the reaction was the same with them as it was at all the other events.
Maybe we're not so different after all.

Next up on my book tour:

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m. City Lights Books, San fFancisco, Ca.
261 Columbus Avenue
Contact: Peter (415) 362-8193, ext. 24

Thursday, Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, 200 Larkin Street, contact Ana Hortillosa, 415-581-3667

Saturday, Nov. 10, 6-9 p.m. Remy's, 2126 W Temple Street, Los Angeles, contact: Linda Nietes (310) 514-9139

Sunday, Nov. 11, Russo's Books, Bakersfield, contact Nick at

Sunday, Nov. 13 4:45-5:30 p.m., Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J Street, Sacramento, contact Lolly Pineda, 650-746-8303


Blogger Michael said...

Thanks for the interesting anecdote about your book signing tour. I did want to mention that the last 3 dates of your tour are off a day, as Nov 11 is a Saturday, Nov 12 a Sunday, etc. I wish I could go to Sacramento to see you as you will be with an author that I enjoy, Kim Wong Keltner. Anyway, take care and good luck next week!

9:43 AM  
Blogger bett martinez said...


Congratulations on being hired by American Cancer Society! It will be great having a person with your compassion and talent for story-telling.

Someday, I'd love to tell you our story, the recreational aquatic therapy program we began for women with cancer, and which has broadened to encompass persons challenged by diverse "health projects" or simply wanting to maintain their well-being.

Take care,

bett lujan martinez

11:42 AM  

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