The Teacher Apprenticeship Program at Holy Names University will host the New York Times’ bestselling author Victor Villaseñor who will be signing several of his 15 published books at 7 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 2 in the University’s Valley Center for the Performing Arts.
Copies of “Rain of Gold,” “Burro Genius,” “Wild Steps to Heaven” and “Thirteen Senses” will be available for purchase at $9-$11 per copy following the presentation.
Born in the barrio of Carlsbad, Calif. in 1940,Villaseñor was raised on a ranch four miles north in Oceanside. His parents were born in Mexico, and Villaseñor spoke only Spanish when he started school.
After years of facing language and cultural barriers, heavy discrimination and a reading problem, later diagnosed as dyslexia, he dropped out of high school his junior year and moved to Mexico.
There he discovered a wealth of Mexican art, literature and music that helped him recapture and understand the dignity and richness of his heritage.
Villaseñor returned to the U.S. at the age of 20. He began to feel the old frustration and anger return as he once again witnessed the disregard toward poor and uneducated people, especially toward Mexicans.
Then a chance encounter with James Joyce’s book, “Portrait Of An Artist As A Young Man,” changed Villaseñor’s life. It awakened a desire to confront through literature the problems associated with his cultural heritage that continued to plague him.
After producing 9 novels, 65 short stories, and receiving 265 rejections, Villaseñor sold his first novel, “Macho!,” which the Los Angeles Times compared to the best of John Steinbeck.
This began a journey that would eventually lead to the publication of the national bestseller “Rain of Gold.” Used by thousands of teachers and school systems across the nation as required reading, the book tells the story of the Villaseñor family, taking the reader from war-torn Mexico during the Revolution of 1910 to the present day.
An upcoming HBO miniseries will be on “Rain of Gold,” and “Thirteen Senses” with Maya Pictures, Producer.