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August 22 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

IN COCONUT GROVE: An Evening with Diana Rojas and Christopher Alonso


Books & Books


August 22
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Books & Books in Coconut Grove
3409 Main Hwy
Coconut Grove, FL 33133 United States
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 Books & Books Coconut Grove presents…


in conversation with

Christopher Alonso


Litany of Saints

(Arte Publico Press, $18.95)

Thursday, August 22nd, 6:30 PM | Books & Books, Coconut Grove


Books & Books Coconut Grove is proud to present an evening with Diana Rojas discussing Litany of Saints (Arte Publico Press, $18.95). She will be in conversation with Christopher Alonso.

This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.

About the Book:

In the opening piece, “The Lives of Saints,” an immigrant family from Costa Rica regularly prays to a litany of saints to help deal with all that life throws their way—including alcoholism, marital discord, illness and death—all while adjusting to their new circumstances as “Americans.” The narrator, a woman trapped in a subservient role supporting her husband, suffers in silence as the men completely disregard her in life-changing decisions. Recounting her family’s attempts to balance a traditional, more conservative culture with the new and exciting one in their adopted homeland, she is forced to reconsider gender roles, assimilation and religion. Costa Ricans, or Ticos, living in the United States return to their native country in two of the three novellas in this thought-provoking collection. They discover it’s not the “Switzerland of Central America,” the perfect country with good healthcare, education and no standing army.

In “Las Tres Marías,” three sisters raised in the comparative freedom of Massachusetts who return to live in their parents’ home country are barely teenagers when they’re labeled gringas and “doomed to become sluts.”

In “La Familia,” Juan Manuel has made a life for himself in Chicago, but when his mother calls him home because his brother has been arrested as a terrorist, he faces an uncomfortable reckoning with his country’s involvement in regional violence as the Cold War spreads to Latin America. Revealing the cultural dissonance experienced by immigrants, Diana Rojas’ characters grapple with their self-perception as they consider what they’re supposed to be and who they want to be. Issues of individualism versus community, loyalty to a distant homeland and a divided sense of identity pepper this intriguing debut.


About the Author:

DIANA ROJAS grew up in Connecticut and New Jersey. A journalist with a degree from New York University, she has worked for The RecordUSA Today, Reuters Events and other publications. She lives taxed and unrepresented in Washington, DC. This is her first book.

About the Moderator:

Christopher R. Alonso was born and raised in Miami, FL. He has worked as an indie bookseller and is a graduate of the NEOMFA program. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in GuernicaThe RejoinderCatapultStrange Horizons, and Fireside Fiction, among others. His writing has received support from Juniper Summer Writing Institute and the Miami Writers Institute. He is a 2023 Periplus Fellow. He was awarded Tin House’s 2022 First Book Summer Residency. He is querying a novel.