The book tour Part 3

New York City: KGB Bar (with Lynne Tillman)
On Sunday night, I had the pleasure of reading together with Lynne Tillman at KGB Bar. We had a large and enthusiastic crowd. I read one of the last chapters, which requires a lot of setting. I might have given away too much of the plot, but I can’t help it. Once I start talking about the book, I can go for hours. I was also interviewed for the KGB magazine. I don’t know when they’re going to upload the interview, but if you want to check it out, go to Thanks to all of you who came to hear me read despite the weather. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Thanks also to Suzanne Dotino, curator of the Sunday night reading series at KGB, for inviting me to read. After the reading, many of us went to Inoteca (, an amazing Italian restaurant downtown. Good food, good wine, good friends, good times.
Audience Highlights: Miguel Falquéz-Certain (a Colombian poet and friend), Alejandro Aragón, (a Colombian writer who came all the way from Vancouver to celebrate my book), my favorite couple: Melissa & Lucas and their rowdy and awesome friends, gorgeous Akiko, Janet, and Sarah Heller, and many, many more.

Brooklyn: Barnes & Noble/Park Slope
Another successful reading, thanks to Maria Celis-Hampton of Barnes & Noble. She started the event by telling us how much the staff at B & N loved Tales from the Town of Widows.She said they’re recommending it to all Brooklyn book-lovers. The reading wasn’t as crowded as KGB’s, but I can’t complain, the turnout was great for a Monday night, plus the audience was pleasant and very receptive: quality before quantity. I’ve been reading a different chapter at every event. It’s fascinating to watch people’s reactions to specific scenes or sentences. Humor has always been a safe choice for me, but I’m discovering that moving sections are just as effective. Thanks to Rick Murphy and fiancé-to-be (hopefully) Lindsay, who after the reading took us to a great spot in Park Slope (I can’t remember the name though I only had ONE beer), and showed us why Brooklyn “is the place to be.”
Audience Highlights:
David, a really cool Colombian guy who works at B & N/Park Slope, with whom I had a nice chat before the reading; Susan and Don (Lucas’s wonderful and “unconventional” parents. Will you adopt me?); wonderful Lisa Shea; Lauretta Charlton from Harper Collins; Michael and fiancé who came all the way from Long Island; and a homeless guy who didn’t have a clue about what was going on… Oh, well, at least he stayed warm and, most importantly, among books.

» Posted by Santiago, on Wed, January 31, 2007
» category: News
» Permalink

The book tour continues…

Last Tuesday night I read at the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge. It was the same night president Bush delivered his State of the Union Address, so I wasn’t expecting many people. I’m happy to report that a good number of very smart people chose me over the president, which doesn’t surprise me: my tales, fantastic though they are, are much more credible than his. Also, I’m a much better story-teller. Thanks to Amanda Darling and the staff at Harvard Bookstore for doing such a great job organizing and promoting the event. Thanks also to Scott Van Der Meid, Director of Study Abroad at Brandeis University and friend of mine, who invited his colleagues to the reading and later on took me to an amazing Vietnamese restaurant in the neighborhood.
Audience Highlights: 1. Lovely Laura, my friend Rick Murphy’s mother, who had pre-ordered the book and sat on the first row. 2. A beautiful Colombian girl from Pereira, whose name I can’t spell (her mother made it up). She told me, in less than three minutes, a moving family story worth writing a novel. 3. A tall woman who smiled at me all throughout the reading, only each time from a different corner. She just kept moving across the room, like trying to find a better angle. When the moment came to buy the book, she disappeared. She had found the angle she was looking for: the exit door.

New England College
The largest audience I’ve seen so far came to hear me read at the Simon Center Great Room of New England College yesterday. I have no doubts that Douglas Haynes (poet, professor and friend) had a lot to do with that: he invited me to do the reading and was in charge of promoting it. Thanks, Douglas. This appearance was sort of an experiment for me, for it wasn’t just a reading but also a discussion focused on writing in a second language, and incorporating source material in your own work in creative ways. I’m hardly an authority on any of this (this is my first novel after all) but I was happy to share my own experiences with both students and faculty, and I trust they enjoyed the discussion as much as I did. After the reading, I’ve had the opportunity to chat with some of the faculty members who wanted to know more about the current social and political situation in Colombia, and how it receives little or no coverage in the mainstream media.
Audience Highlights: A Colombian guy (a graphic design student), also from Pereira, who showed up to the reading wearing the t-shirt of a popular Colombian soccer team… sweet!

» Posted by Santiago, on Thu, January 25, 2007
» category: News
» Permalink

More from Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews has selected Tales from the Town of Widows to be featured in an upcoming special edition on “The Best Books for Reading Groups.”
More to come.

» Posted by Santiago, on Wed, January 24, 2007
» category: Press
» Permalink

Washington Post…poned until the 18th!

The Washington Post Book World review of Tales From the Town of Widows will now run on their Sunday, Feb. 18th edition.

» Posted by Santiago, on Tue, January 23, 2007
» category: Press
» Permalink

Book Tour…

My book tour began last week with a visit to Olsson’s Books and Records in Washington D.C. Though the audience was rather small (I blame the freezing weather for that), the reading went well. Thanks very much to Tony Ritchie and the staff at Olsson’s for their help. I hope they manage to sell all the copies I signed in advance. Hopefully the Washington Post review of Tales from the Town of Widows, which will run on the Sunday, February 4th edition, will give the book a boost.
Audience Highlights: An old man holding a copy of my book, searching for the passages I was reading, making sure I didn’t skip a single word. After the reading he left without buying the book. I guess I skipped a few lines and pissed him off.

My second stop was at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY, on Saturday. Now that was a great audience, both in numbers and level of interest. After the reading, they posed many interesting questions and even asked me to read some more. The reading was filmed and it will soon be on Thanks to Carrie Majer, Dick Hermans and the rest of the staff at Oblong for organizing the reading. Also, thanks to my friend Hillary Jordan who suggested I read at Oblong, and who together with Kathryn Windley publicized the event among their many friends.
Audience Highlights: Everyone. What a wonderful audience!

» Posted by Santiago, on Mon, January 22, 2007
» category: News
» Permalink