New book, new state and new position
Born in Mexico and raised in Texas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall has a deep well of stories to draw from. From her experiences growing up and discovering the value of life, she has written four novels for young adults, including her new release, "All the Stars Denied."
"When I write, I think about how important and valuable life and all of its experiences are, so I try to write stories that give meaning to those experiences," she said on her webpage.
Her first novel, "Under the Mesquite," was written entirely in verse and won accolades, including the prestigious Pura Belpre Author Award. It was inspired by McCall's desire to capture the hearts of her students and teach them the value of writing down their stories.
"You write about your truth. You write what you know," she said.
Drawing on her experience of living on the border between Mexico and the United States, McCall has produced three books that have told her story and given voice to female heroines.
"I believe that all my books, at the core, are about the mother and about the strength of the mother and the feminine in us," she said.
"All the Stars Denied," touches on the topic of immigration. Set in the 1930s during the Dust Bowl, McCall centers the story on Estrella, a young woman who begins protesting against the treatment of Mexicans in Texas. Fighting against the sentiments that lead people to post signs such as "No dogs or Mexicans allowed," Estrella works to create a place of safety at home.
Even though she is an American citizen, Estrella is deported to Mexico and must fight to take care of her mother and brother while longing to find a way back to her home country. Yet in this process, she must convince America that she and her fellow Mexican-Americans deserve to return home.
McCall's ability to speak truth through stories and give voice to those seeking to tell their own stories is what first pushed her to become an educator. When asked in high school what she loved, her response foreshadowed where she would spend much of her adult life: "I don't love anything else. I just love school."
Through teaching her sister history by telling stories in college, McCall decided to alter her plans to become an actress or writer and instead became a teacher.
While McCall has worked as a middle and high school English teacher in San Antonio, she will leave her own home in Texas to start a new position in the English department at George Fox University. She will teach courses on ancient literature and studies in writing.
"I'm just excited to teach and to teach in a different way than I've taught before," she said.
McCall's ability to tell her truth has caused her to gain some national attention. Her novel "Shame the Stars" was recently chosen as the book to represent all of Texas at the National Book Festival that was held in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. As the book retells the story of Romeo and Juliet during the time of the 1915 Mexican revolution, it draws romance as well as political intrigue and period detail of Texas into the threads of the story. It is a sequel to "All the Stars Denied," which is slated for released Oct. 9.
Arts & Leisure briefs
Marj Hegeman to appear Friday at Coffee Cottage
Christian folk music artist Marj Hegeman will perform from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Coffee Cottage, 808 E. Hancock St. For more information, call 503-538-5126.
Judy Larson next up at Art Talk
Hillwilliams Band slated at Butteville Store
The deadline is Sept. 30 to apply for Yamhill County Cultural Coalition's grants of up to $2,500 for organizations and individuals in Yamhill County for projects and events taking place in 2019.
For more information, visit http://yamhillcountyculture.org/grants/.
Heritage Center slates music and dancing
McMINNVILLE -- Live music with Joe Justin and Janet Kay is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center, 11275 S.W. Durham Lane. For more information, visit the organization's Facebook page at https://bit.ly/2oMcKxb.