Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Viva Las Comadres!

Is there a Las Comadres group in your city? More specifically, is there a Las Comadres Book Club near you?

Thanks to the diligence, faith, and inspiration of Austin-based Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Las Comadres groups have formed all over the nation. The basic purpose of the group is to provide a monthly meeting space for Latinas to network and support each other. Notices about jobs, conferences, events, and other information of special note to Latinas arrives in members' email daily. But Nora has pushed the group beyond a networking organization to include a variety of projects from professional development to gardening (check out the website).

Near to my heart is the Las Comadres Book Clubs. They meet all over the country once a month to read and discuss works by Latin@ writers. The book club I attend meets at Borders in the Westgate Shopping Center here in Austin. I have to say, our discussions are always eye-opening. I've learned a lot about what readers want to see in the books they read for pleasure, and what they expect from Latin@ writers in general. And being around women who are hungry for a good book? As a writer, that thrills me.

When I told Nora some friends and I were planning a book release party for Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz, she immediately launched into "Nora mode," asking: how can Las Comadres help? Before I knew it, she lined up some damas (recent quinces who will be at the release party to direct visitors) and asked the North Austin Las Comadres Book Club to change their regular meeting date and time so they could all attend my book release party! Knowing Las Comadres will be there to celebrate and support me, fills me with enormous—I don't even have the words. Once again, I am touched.

Viva Las Comadres!!

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