The Tortilla Curtain

Book of the Quarter, Winter 2007
Panel Discussion
Thursday, February 15, 2007
4 - 5:30 pm

This quarter, the Library's Book of the Quarter is The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle. The Tortilla Curtain has been especially selected because it is also the choice for this year's Silicon Valley Reads program, a program which is presented by the San Jose Public Library Foundation, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and the Santa Clara County Library.

As SCU's contribution to this program, the Library is pleased to sponsor a panel presentation and discussion, drawn from thoughts on Boyle's novel. The panel discussion will be held on Thursday, February 15th from 4 - 5:30 pm, in the Fess Parker Studio Theatre in the Louis B. Mayer Theatre. The panel discussion is open to the public. Light refreshments will be available in the theatre lobby.

You do not have to have read the book to attend. Copies of the book are available in the campus bookstore. The Library has one copy of The Tortilla Curtain and more copies are available through LINK+.

The Tortilla Curtain depicts the lives of two Southern California couples who live in close proximity to each other, but under very different circumstances. One couple is affluent, the other illegal immigrants. Eventually, their different worlds intersect in what the publisher calls "a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding." Our panelists will discuss the book in relation to the broader issues of immigration in California. Each panelist will bring a different and unique personal background to this topic. Audience questions and comments are welcome. The purpose of this program is both to promote community reading of a single book and to generate discussion about the important issues of immigration.

Panelists are:

Lorenzo Gamboa
Assistant Director, Undergraduate Admissions
Mr. Gamboa is an undergraduate admissions counselor, who works primarily with prospective students from Mexico and Latin America. He is an SCU alumnus with a major in economics, and minors in Spanish and international business.
Fabio Lopez-Lazaro
Assistant Professor, History Department, Santa Clara University
Dr. Lopez-Lazaro is a double immigrant (from Europe to Canada, then Canada to the United States). His research interests focus on Mediterranean studies and early modern European history. He will contrast historical aspects of American immigration with the present situation, indicating where he believes there has been improvement and where he thinks mistakes continue to occur.
Lynette Parker
Clinical Supervising Attorney (Immigration Practice Area) and Clinical Faculty member of the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center
Ms. Parker has been supervising law students handing immigration cases at the Law Center since March, 2000. She also is a lecturer in the Santa Clara University School of Law, teaching immigration law and refugee/asylum law. She will focus her remarks on the short-term and long-term effects of "community immigration" (the breaking down of neighborhoods and familial structures as people migrate out of a community and the lack of a community to come to in their adopted countries.)

Suggestions for a future Book of the Quarter?

Past Books of the Quarter