We are delighted to present J.L. Torres in partnership with L.A. Review of Books. Torres is the winner of the inaugural Tomás Rivera Prize for the collection Migrations, and will speak about his latest short stories rooted in Puerto Rican history and culture. He will be joined by writer, scholar, and performer Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, author of the new book Translocas. A short Q&A will follow their conversation. Register for this FREE event via Eventbrite.
LARB Books is the publishing division of the Los Angeles Review of Books, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts. The addition of this publishing project extends LARB’s mission of bringing the best that is thought and written to readers around the world.
About the Book
A ‘sucio’ goes to an underground clinic for therapy to end his machista ways and is accidentally transitioned. Ex-gangbangers gone straight deal with a troubled, gifted son drawn to the gangsta lifestyle promoted by an emerging music called hip hop. Dead and stuck “between somewhere and nowhere,” Roberto Clemente, the great Puerto Rican baseball icon, soon confronts the reason for his predicament. These are a few of the characters in J.L. Torres’s second story collection, Migrations, the inaugural winner of the Tomás Rivera Book Prize.
These stories take us inside the lives of self-exiles, unhomed and unhinged people, estranged from loved ones, family, culture, and collective history. Despite the effects of colonization of the body and mind, Puerto Ricans have survived beyond geography and form an integral part of the American mosaic.
About the Author
J. L. Torres is the author of The Family Terrorist and Other Stories; a novel, The Accidental Native; and the collection of poetry, Boricua Passport. His short story collection of Migrations was the winner of the inaugural Tomás Rivera Prize from the Los Angeles Review of Books. He has published stories and poems in numerous journals and magazines, including the North American Review, Denver Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Eckleburg Review, Puerto del Sol, Las Americas Review, and the anthology Growing Up Latino. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. Torres is a professor of English at SUNY Plattsburgh. Born in Puerto Rico, raised in the South Bronx, he lives in Plattsburgh, New York.
Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes is Professor of American Culture, Romance Languages and Literatures, and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he directed the Latina/o Studies Program for six years. He was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and received his AB from Harvard (1991) and his MA, MPhil, and PhD from Columbia (1999). He is author of Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora (University of Minnesota Press, 2009) and of Escenas transcaribeñas: Ensayos sobre teatro, performance y cultura (Isla Negra Editores, 2018) and coeditor with Deborah R. Vargas and Nancy Raquel Mirabal of Keywords for Latina/o Studies (New York University Press, 2017). His book Translocas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Performance (University of Michigan Press, 2021) is part of the Triangulations: Lesbian/Gay/Queer Theater/Drama/Performance series. He has coedited queer issues of CENTRO Journal, Sargasso, and Hostos Review/Revista Hostosiana and has published two books of fiction, Uñas pintadas de azul/Blue Fingernails and Abolición del pato. Larry performs in drag as Lola von Miramar since 2010, and has appeared in several episodes of the YouTube series Cooking with Drag Queens.