Houston Public Media radio host Eric Ladau interviewed Temblador for its website’s “Arte Público Press Authors” feature, and along with the transcript, their conversation is available to listeners on the station’s interactive site through on-demand audio streaming here.
Click here to see all Arte Público authors featured on Houston Public Media.
About the Author:
ALEX TEMBLADOR, a freelance travel writer, is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe and received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. Born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, she lives and works in Dallas. Secrets of the Casa Rosada is her debut novel.
About her new book, Secrets of the Casa Rosada
Sixteen-year-old Martha and her mother move constantly, never staying anywhere for long. So she knows better than to ask if they’ve been evicted again when her mom says they’re going on a “vacation” to meet the grandmother Martha didn’t know existed.
Laredo, Texas, is like no other city she has seen. Driving past businesses with Spanish names and colorfully painted houses with burnt lawns, Martha can’t imagine her mother living somewhere so … Mexican. At her grandmother’s pink house, Martha’s shocked and hurt when her mom abandons her, even though a part of her had been expecting it.
Suddenly, Martha must deal with a lifestyle that is completely foreign. Her grandmother doesn’t speak English, so communication is difficult, and she’s not particularly kind like most grandmothers. Even weirder, it turns out that her grandmother is revered as a healer, or curandera. And there are tons of cousins, aunts, and uncles all ready to embrace her!
Meanwhile, at Martha’s new school, she can’t be anonymous because everyone knows she’s Doña González’s granddaughter, and a girl named Marcella has it out for her. Why does she hate Martha so much?!? As Martha struggles to adjust to her new life, she can’t help but wonder why her mother left Laredo. No one is willing to discuss it, so she’ll have to unravel the secrets herself.