Friday, August 9, 2019

Author Panel: Lilliam Rivera

Lilliam Rivera
photo by Vanessa Acosta
Lilliam Rivera writes young adult novels that are books she wanted to read as a teenager. During high school, she loved The Outsiders, but wondered what that world would look like if Latinas had been leading it. Lilliam thinks about that each time she writes.

Lilliam shared a touching story about travelling to a book festival in a border town on the Rio Grande. An abuela had driven two hours to be there and brought her granddaughter so she could introduce her granddaughter to Lilliam and thank her for her work. Especially with all that's happened these last two weeks in our country, Lilliam said she has been thinking that abuela and the importance of showing up for them in the places they live.

A recent book that moved Lilliam is Randy Ribay's Patron Saint of Nothing which focuses on a Filipino American teen visiting his cousin in the Phillipines. The book doesn't flinch in having the main character examine his own American privilege.

Lilliam's advice for the audience is write the story that you have to write. Let it out. Give yourself love for showing up and dedicating yourself to your art by being here.

Follow Lilliam on Twitter and Instagram or find out more about her books on her website.

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