Ten years of community reading in Roswell

Roswell Reads 2015 choice: ‘The Distance Between Us’

Reyna Grande, author of “The Distance Between Us.”
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It’s an intimate book club on a grand scale. Based on the “One Book…One City” community reading programs held across the country, Roswell Reads celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Ten years of gathering hundreds of Roswell residents together around a single book, building a sense of community and promoting the fine art of reading and literary discussion. Books chosen have strong characters and present themes that address the human condition, with a focus on authors from the Southeast.

Each year, a Roswell Reads literary luncheon is held, where the author of the selected book is invited to speak to residents about his or her novel, encouraging discussion and insights. 
This year’s luncheon will be held Saturday, March 14, at 11:30 a.m. at the Roswell Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at www.RoswellReads.com or in person at the Friends of Roswell Library Bookstore inside the Roswell Library, 115 Norcross St.

At the luncheon, award-winning author Reyna Grande will talk about “The Distance Between Us,” her personal, heart-wrenching and ultimately triumphant memoir about her journey from Mexico to the United States as an undocumented child immigrant, where she learned that the separation between a parent and child can be measured as much in emotional distance and abandonment as it can be in miles.

Born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, Grande was 2 years old when her father left for the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north two years later, leaving Grande and her siblings behind in Mexico to be raised by her grandparents. In 1985, when Grande was going on 10, she entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant to live with her father. Grande was the first person in her family to graduate from college with a master’s of fine art degree in creative writing from Antioch University. An active promoter of Latino literature, Grande teaches creative writing at UCLA Extension, speaks at high schools, colleges and universities across the nation and is at work on her next novel. Learn more at www.ReynaGrande.com.

Roswell Reads has arranged some exciting free community programs in connection with the 2015 book selection. On Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m., the Roswell Library will welcome StoryCorps, who will share a few powerful immigration stories from their impressive library of interviews with Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs. They will also moderate a panel of local people who have emigrated from foreign countries to Roswell.

On Friday, March 13 at 10 a.m., a memoir-writing workshop will be held at the Roswell Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road in Roswell, hosted by Jessica Handler, memoirist and author of “Invisible Sisters and Braving the Fire.” Registration is required. Please call 770-640-3075 to register.

To learn more about Roswell Reads and this year’s events surrounding “The Distance Between Us,” visit the Friends of the Roswell Library website, www.forl.net.

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This month's issue

Farrah Haidar, left, and Hala Yassine, are two of the seven sisters involved in Seven Sisters Scones in Johns Creek, offering their customers a modern take on a traditional breakfast treat.
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