Looking for a book club that focuses on Latin American books? Look no further than the La Casa Azul Bookstore at 103rd Street in New York City. This independent bookstore is a small, yet, very specific to the Latino community carrying books in both English and Spanish. The book that was being discussed was Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas.
Upon arrival to the book club discussion on Wednesday night, the store was not packed and not very many people showed up to the event. For this particular discussion, there was no formal question and answer arrangement, but rather it began with talking about parts of the book that the group liked and did not like. One of the main points that was talked about was how Arenas life impacted the group. Some said that it almost hit home for them, while others who were not exposed to the kind of life that Arenas was, could feel what he felt and what he was going through. The other point that was brought up was his sexual orientation. Of course everyone is entitled to their own sexual orientation, but the idea of questioning which gender or orientation that a person wanted to be is something that person alone.
For someone to write an autobiography shows that they have something to say and that they want their story to be told. I was personally not impacted by the book, but I went to the event to listen to the discussion and learn about Arenas’ life that was completely different than mine and I have to say that I really did learn something. We all have something to say.