Author and Los Angeles Times columnist Hector Tobar will visit the campus on Apr. 2 to discuss his two novels, The Tattooed Soldier and The Barbarian Diaries, as well his career as a Los Angeles Times journalist.

Hector Tobar courtesy Of Doug Knutson.
Hector Tobar courtesy Of Doug Knutson.

Tobar’s two novels, which are a blend of the fictional and the personal as he examines the relationship between Latin America and Los Angeles, will be the main topic of discussion upon Tobar’s second visit to the campus. He will be reading from his works and discussing the inspiration behind them. He will also be discussing his career as a columnist for the Times.

Coordinators of the event say the main focus of Tobar’s visit is to bring a living author to campus to speak about the books students are reading. “Several of our instructors in English are teaching his novel, The Tattooed Soldier,” said English Instructor and coordinator of the event Beverly Tate. “They want our students to meet the author of the text.”

Academic Senate President Dustin Hanvey also a coordinator of the event, believes this will enhance class experience for students. “Most of the texts we read are from authors who are long gone, and this is an opportunity to meet a living author,” said Hanvey. “There is nothing more enriching than meeting the author of the text you are reading.”

Hanvey believes this will be an enriching opportunity, even for those who are not familiar with Tobar, or his work. “Hector Tobar is going to tell us his life story…just that life experience will be valuable to many students who are trying to find their path. That is what community colleges are for: finding your path to wherever you want to go,” Hanvey said. “Seeing a living, breathing, successful artist and hearing their story can inspire people from various fields and the actual work itself is almost secondary.

Additionally, Hanvey is working toward making this an annual event, hoping that it will emulate a more university-like experience at the community college level. “At a university it is very common for this kind of thing to happen on a monthly basis, and I think often community colleges don’t feel that they have the same opportunity,” Hanvey said. “I see no reason why community colleges can’t have that same opportunity.”

The event will be held in the Creveling Lounge at noon on Apr. 2 and Tobar will be signing copies of his books at the conclusion of the event.

While Hector Tobar has participated in numerous events like this one, there is one thing that he always looks forward to. “It is wonderful to meet people who have read my books and relate to them and the ideas,” Tobar said.

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