Norwalk community to discuss “Children of the Land” by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

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Norwalk, CT – Norwalk Public Library is hosting its second One Book One Community discussion via Zoom on Monday, May 10, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo’s “Children of the Land” as the topic of conversation.

Lucia Rilling, Nowalk’s First Lady; Edwin Camacho, Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) Chair, Dr. Alexandra Estrella, Norwalk Public Schools Superintendent; Diana Carpio, Norwalk Board of Education Vice Chair; James Martinez, Norwalk Public Schools Director of School Counseling; and Eloisa Melendez, Democratic Town Committee Chair will lead the discussion.

Among other awards and notoriety, “Children of the Land” is one of NPR’s Best Books of 2020. The following excerpt from Catillo’s “Children of the Land” is just one of many vividly written passages. “I ventured to believe that the function of the border wasn’t only to keep people out, at least that was not its long-term function. Its other purpose was to be visible, to be seen, to be carried in the imaginations of migrants deep into the interior of the country, in the interior of their minds. It was a spectacle meant to be witnessed by the world, and all of its death and violence was and continues to be a form of social control, the way that kings of the past needed to behead only one petty thief in the public square to quell thousands more.”

Click here to hear NPR’s five-minute interview with the Castillo.

“Reading allows us to grow and develop. It also helps us to learn and better understand one another,” said Mayor Harry W. Rilling.

“Children of the Land shares personal moments that so many in our community and around the country have lived. I hope members of our community will join us for this impactful One Book One Community discussion.”

“The book allows us to recognize the courage and hope in others to create a better society,” said Lucia Rilling.

“By making Children of the Land our next One Book One Community selection, the Library offers to Norwalk a richer dialogue on the meaning of immigration viewed not through the 2-minute lens of the nightly news but rather through the life experience of a gifted writer who dared to cross so many boundaries,” said Alex Knopp, Library Board President.

“Immigration and undocumented immigrants have long since been the subject of debate, said Lamond Daniels, Community Services Chief. “This is an important conversation for Norwalk to have.”

“What a brilliantly written, beautiful, and heart-wrenching story. I love that the author, as a poet, tells the story with such captivating imagery,” said Jim Martinez.

“Children of the Land is a beautifully written book that deepens our understanding of the experience undocumented immigrants face in America,” said Dr. Alexandra Estrella. “It’s an important and educational story for our times and for our diverse community.”

ONE BOOK ONE COMMNUNITY is a national program designed to bring communities together to discuss literature and issues that affect us all. James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time was discussed during the first One Book One Community last fall.

“The more cultural and cross-cultural exchanges we have, the less polarized society will be,” said Sherelle Harris, Norwalk Public Library’s Interim Director. “As with anything opposing, it is usually when you experience or hear directly from the humans over which controversy is being made that we have the opportunity to view things differently.”

This program is open to the community. Registration for the program is available online. For more information or to arrange to pick up free copies of the book, please call either Norwalk Public Library location: Main library, 203.899.2780 ext. 15906; or SoNo Branch, 203.899.2790 ext. 15902.

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