It's the eve of the 20th season of One Book, One Philadelphia, and the opening event is tomorrow, Wednesday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., featuring a conversation with Quiara Alegría Hudes—the author of the One Book 2022 featured title, My Broken Language—and Lilliam Rivera, the author of Never Look Back, the One Book 2022 young adult companion title. While in-person tickets are sold out, you can still watch the event online.
You can also get to know Quiara Alegría Hudes in a series of short video interviews about the selection of her memoir for One Book and her time growing up in Philadelphia.
We can hardly wait to see you there! We've heard from so many readers already who've connected personally with details in Hudes's memoir, which traces her coming-of-age story in 1980s and ’90s North and West Philadelphia and shares the stories of her family—the Perez women—and her community. My Broken Language has been called a love letter to Philly, and with so many sparked memories raising feelings of reverence for readers, it is indeed a love letter, as well as an archive, a protest, and a song. This lyrical memoir shows our city at its core: strong, loud, loving, complicated, and endlessly full of music.
While Hudes's and Rivera's books are two very different stories, genres, and perspectives, their work shares common threads. They both center identities of young, Puerto Rican women in big cities, vibrate with music and love, and focus on the inner strengths and journeys of young women who've inherited both joy and trauma. Both books explore in some way what it means to understand ourselves within the context of our family, community, and history, and what it means to tell our own stories.
In addition to their conversation, the evening will include the presentation of an original work of music and inspired by My Broken Language, composed and performed by students from the Curtis Institute of Music. A book signing with both authors will follow the event, and books will be for sale at the library from Taller Puertorriqueño.
This is only the beginning! The kickoff launches seven weeks of programming centered on these books, including discussions, panels, workshops in writing, visual art, music, dance, gardening, and more, all free and listed on the One Book events calendar. And, mark your calendars: Hudes will return to Philly on June 15, for a finale event at Lillian Marrero Library.