LocalLit 2023


LocalLit: December 2, 2023

In proud partnership, San José State University King Library and San José Public Library, are pleased to announce the 11th annual LocalLit event! This event marks our first in-person LocalLit event since the pandemic. We'll enjoy cookies and tea while we listen to local authors share their stories and experiences in writing and publishing their works, answer questions from the public, and have copies of their books for sale. This event is free and open to everyone. 


View and enjoy photos from this year's event.


View and share the recording.


  • When: Saturday, December 2, 2023, 2:00 – 4:30 PM
  • WhereKing Library, 2nd Floor, Room 225

What is LocalLit?

LocalLit is a celebration of local authors and their books. It's a chance to support local San José authors and learn how these authors wrote and published their creations. Additional details are available on our events page.

More Ways to Celebrate Local Authors

While there is no need to read the authors' books before the event, we are happy to offer several copies of these books in our circulating collection for you to enjoy before joining us for the event. For now, you can browse all LocalLit titles. Support local authors by checking out their books and get gifting inspiration for the readers on your holiday shopping list.

Participating Authors

Adam Duran

Rekindle your belief in yourself, dedicate yourself to routines and habits that set you up for success, and start excelling at life again!

Use the methods, tactics and mindset tricks that author Adam has forged to create an unshakeable sense of self-belief, motivate himself every single day, and create a routine that has allowed him to achieve every goal he’s put his mind to - and how you can do the same! (Publisher's Description)


Alejandra C. Tlalli-Miles

Cover of book Finding Familia and Ancestors by Alejandra C. Tlalli-MilesYou probably know the name of your parents and grandparents, but what about your great-grandparents, or your great-great-grandparents? Finding Familia & Ancestors is the result of Alejandra’s genealogy search for the answers to these questions.

What started out as curiosity became a short-term obsession. Upon searching for other books on Indigenous Mexican families, she discovered that there was only a handful. This underrepresentation in books and literature, fueled her to move past sharing her findings with her family to publishing Finding Familia & Ancestors. Contained within the story of her family are snapshots of historical documents, in which we learn of a history that includes teenage pregnancies, infant mortality, racism, erasure of Indigenous identity, and political opposition. On a universal level, the book will resonate with readers because this story speaks to the human experience of celebration, struggle, survival, and life.

Finding Familia & Ancestors is a highly illustrated case study that includes real-life historical document examples of genealogy records. This book contains easy step-by-step instructions and a template to get you started in finding your familia. Written in a bilingual (Spanish and English) format, this work is meant to inspire all readers to research their own lineage and find their unique family stories. (Publisher's Description)

Anne Marie Todd*

Cover of book Valley of Heart's Delight by Anne Marie Todd

This agricultural history explores the transformation of the Santa Clara Valley over the past one hundred years from America's largest fruit-producing region into the technology capital of the world. In the latter half of the twentieth century, the region's focus shifted from fruits—such as apricots and prunes—to computers. Both personal and public rhetoric reveals how a sense of place emerges and changes in an evolving agricultural community like the Santa Clara Valley. Through extensive archival research and interviews, Anne Marie Todd explores the concepts of place and placelessness, arguing that place is more than a physical location and that exploring a community's sense of place can help us to map how individuals experience their natural surroundings and their sense of responsibility towards the local environment. Todd extends the concept of sense of place to describe Silicon Valley as a non-place, where weakened or disrupted attachment to place threatens the environment and community. The story of the Santa Clara Valley is an American story of the development of agricultural lands and the transformation of rural regions. (Publisher's Description)

Eddie García

Summer in the Waiting Room is Eddie García’s true story about youthful promise, unfulfilled potential, temporary success, catastrophic illness, and spiritual awakening. After flunking out of college, he goes on a frenetic quest to vanquish failure demons and achieves short-lived vindication through career accomplishments. A sudden heart attack and rare lung complication lead to a hopeless summer clinging to life in the ICU. In the end, he goes on a spiritual journey that leads to a remarkable recovery and long-lasting redemption

Readers who face desperate situations will be inspired by Eddie’s story. Many families turn to prayer to help them endure devastating setbacks. Summer in the Waiting Room is a detailed and inspiring story about how a near death experience, modern medicine, and faith in God converge to nourish one family’s optimism in faith, hope, and love. His experience as an ICU patient gives readers a firsthand account of what it takes to survive a life-threatening health crisis. He uses medical records and personal interviews to create a fast-paced narrative about how his life story led to a frightening and ultimately uplifting summer. Eddie brings to life his idyllic youth, personal struggles, professional success, and daily fight for life in the hospital. Summer in the Waiting Room is sure to bring smiles and hope to those who feel hopeless. (Publisher's Description)

Eugene Schlesinger

The writings of Henri de Lubac have left an indelible mark on Catholic theology, preparing the ground for, giving shape to, and explaining the seminal event of twentieth-century Catholicism: the Second Vatican Council. Like the Council itself, though, de Lubac remains a contested figure, difficult to classify.

Salvation in Henri de Lubac presents an overview of de Lubac’s major works in light of his own statements that a mystical vision animated them all. De Lubac’s mystical theology hinges upon a vision of salvation, understood as humanity’s incorporation into the triune God through the cross and resurrection of the incarnate Christ. From his writings on the supernatural and theological epistemology, to his treatments of the spiritual interpretation of Scripture, ecclesiology, sacramental theology, and the theology of history, the mystery of the cross looms large, gathering these disparate topics into one focal center while also allowing their distinct contours to remain. By attending to de Lubac’s work in this light, Eugene R. Schlesinger brings important themes from French language scholarship into the English-speaking conversation and clarifies the nature of de Lubac’s ressourcement. It is not a method, nor a sensibility, but the outgrowth of a conviction: in the mystery of Christ a definitive and unsurpassable gift has been given, one that constitutes the meaning of the world and its history, one whose riches can never be exhausted. Schlesinger claims that unless we understand de Lubac and his work in light of his own motivations and emphases, we risk distorting his contribution, reducing him to a proxy in the struggle for post-conciliar Catholic self-definition. (Publisher's Description)

J. Michael Martinez*

Ragged and raging across the spectrums of cognition, race, and gender, Tarta Americana lyrically envisions forms of survival outside neuronormative perceptions and histories. Against the recent tide of white nationalism in the United States, Tarta Americana finds a rhinestone in Ritchie Valens, the rock and roll legend, surfacing across time and bodies, genders and sounds, displacing the linear unfolding of desire and biography. Valens, the embodiment of corporeal transcendence, guides Martinez as he expresses his own neurodiversity, his struggles and triumphs, interrogating memory, gender, and race, traversing pain in search of compassion and joy. Tarta Americana, tarred and glittering, melodic in its screams, overdrives text and space in chase of American politics that could, at last, harmonize love with redemption. (Publisher's Description)

Jane Kuo

Anna is counting the days until her family finally moves to America—the beautiful country. Even though Anna knows she’ll miss her relatives and friends in Taiwan, she’s excited for her new life in California.

But the beautiful country is nothing like what she imagined. The family’s one-bedroom apartment is much smaller than their old house. Anna’s hopes for friendship are thwarted when she’s taunted for the food she brings to school. The worst part is Anna’s parents sunk their entire savings into a restaurant that’s losing money. Anna had big dreams for her new life, but now she doesn’t even know if her family will make it beyond the first year.

This lyrical and moving novel in verse is about finding your way in the world and what it truly means for a place to become home. (Publisher's Description)

Keenan Norris*

In Chi Boy, Keenan Norris melds memoir, cultural criticism, and literary biography to indelibly depict Chicago—from the Great Migration to the present day—as both a cradle of Black intellect, art, and politics and a distillation of America’s deepest tragedies. With the life and work of Richard Wright as his throughline, Norris braids the story of his family and particularly of his father, Butch Norris, with those of other Black men—Wright, Barack Obama, Ralph Ellison, Frank Marshall Davis—who have called Chicago home. Along the way he examines the rise of Black street organizations and the murders of Yummy Sandifer and Hadiya Pendleton to examine the city’s status in the cultural imaginary as “Chi-Raq,” a war zone within the nation itself. In Norris’s telling, the specter of violence over Black life is inescapable: in the South that Wright and Butch Norris escaped, in the North where it finds new forms, and worldwide where American militarism abroad echoes brutalities at home . Yet, in the family story at the center of this unforgettable book, Norris also presents an enduring vision of hope and love. (Publisher's Description)

Kelly Miller

Darcy and his good friend Simon Lockhart are guests of Charles Bingley at Netherfield Park in Hertfordshire. When the otherwise sensible Lockhart becomes infatuated with Miss Elizabeth Bennet, who has neither wealth nor a renowned family name, Darcy attempts to make his friend see reason. But there is a complication—Darcy’s growing attraction for Miss Elizabeth.

Elizabeth has an instant liking for the amiable Mr. Lockhart, whilst she deems the arrogant Mr. Darcy to be an undesirable entity. In time, though, she is coaxed into judging Mr. Darcy anew. But when an unexpected predicament forces her to make an undesirable choice, it seems all hope of a happy outcome is lost.

In this Pride & Prejudice variation, Darcy faces a dilemma: Will he heed the yearnings of his heart—even at the expense of his principles? (Publisher's Description)

Magdalena L. Barrera*

In their book, The Latinx Guide to Graduate School, Negron and Barrera share suggestions and experiences with Latinx students considering a graduate degree in the Humanities & Arts.  The book discusses how to apply for graduate school, and develop a strong graduate application packet, as well as how to understand the unwritten rules of the academy.  The book encourages Latinx students to bring their cultural perspectives to their studies to ground them in their cultural wealth and to broaden the academy. (Publisher's Description)

Marc Jedel

Elizabeth Trout had escaped her rural Arkansas hometown. Compelled to sort through her deceased grandmother’s belongings, she and her new husband Jonas make an unexpected trip down south to the family ranch. But when the property manager turns up dead, Elizabeth is rocked when her ex-boyfriend-turned-deputy arrests her for the murder.

As incriminating evidence piles up and the sheriff’s convinced he’s got the right suspect, Elizabeth and Jonas must fish for clues on their own. With a multitude of potential culprits and her husband’s contrasting personality, Elizabeth fears she may be left dangling on the hook for a crime she didn’t commit.

Can these newlyweds net the real killer before Elizabeth is jailed for murder?

Fish Out of Water is the charming first book in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series from the best-selling author of the Silicon Valley Mystery series. If you like quirky characters, clever twists and turns, and puzzling whodunits, then you’ll love Marc Jedel’s humorous tale. (Publisher's Description)

Nahuí Ollín

A house that disappears overnight, a child who can breathe underwater, ordinary people who didn't know they were superheroes or have the power to change their world in an instant; These are just some of the stories that the reader will find in “¿Dónde estabas? Narraciones cotidianas y otros cuentos.”

Starting from a common feeling or from an activity that any of us performs every day, the author opens stories that pursue Magical Realism, Fantasy, and Science Fiction. Through its pages, we find fables, myths, odes to nature and our ancestral origins, as well as a tribute to family customs; without forgetting the ever-present love, in its most romantic or also brotherly form.

Through the words of Nahuí Ollín, children, adolescents and adults will feel identified when they come to read these stories that arise from common and treasured experiences, and they will feel the comforting embrace of that familiar voice that always asks you when you return: “Where were you?" (¿dónde estabas?) (Publisher's Description)

Palmer Pickering

Teleo is a retired soldier descended from Mages, who were cast out of power generations ago. After years of war and sorrow, he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life on his farm and work his stonemason’s craft.

His wife and daughter had been murdered during a war raid several years earlier and his young son stolen by the enemy side. He spent years unsuccessfully searching for his son and returned home broken-hearted. At the local castle, he comes upon a war orphan stolen by his side from the enemy and rescues him from abuse, adopting him as his foster son.

Teleo is working as a mason at the castle when he finds himself in the middle of a coup. This launches a journey to protect his new family, uncover the secrets of the ancient ways, and reclaim the magic of the Mages.

"Heliotrope," by Palmer Pickering, is a Sword & Sorcery title by the award-winning author of the science-fantasy sensation, "Moon Deeds." (Publisher's Description)

Ricardo Cortez

Lowriding isn't all about cars. Lowriding is a culture; a lifestyle full of beautiful people, traditions, and yes, some of the most amazing cars in the world.

This book will teach you about many aspects of lowrider culture, from painting to important people. Give the gift of lowrider learning to the next generation of cruisers. 

Detailed illustrations will capture the attention of young readers, but the book really is for all ages. (Publisher's Description)

Rosanna Alvarez*

Braided [Un]Be-Longing is the long-anticipated debut collection from the sincere and thought-provoking poet Rosanna Alvarez. A braided cultural journey across space and time, the heart-felt collection intricately weaves together the most unanticipated spaces of poetic legacy found in the everyday and in everybody. The poems read like a complicated love letter to community, family, and culture, offering a glimpse into the collective excavation of journeying toward belonging. (Publisher's Description)


Sonali Patodia

Krishna is upset. He is self-conscious about his appearance and compares himself to those around him, wondering why it’s hard for people to accept others for who they are.

As he and his best friend, Radha, walk down a long, winding road, they notice the diverse beauty that surrounds them. Radha begins to think, think, and think some more.

What will they discover? Will Krishna let the dark cloud of self-doubt take over, or will he find the rainbow of confidence?

Instilling the essence of Indian culture, You're Truly One of a Kind brings stunning visual energy and empowers young minds to embrace and celebrate their individuality. (Publisher's Description)

* Denotes SJSU author


If you have any questions about LocalLit, including how to become a featured author, please email locallit@sjlibrary.org or leave a comment below.