It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction,
Revolutions, and Healing (Touchstone)
Luis J. Rodriguez, author of Always Running and Republic of East L.A., launches his new book It Calls You Back!
"Rodriguez’s life story is astonishing . . . It takes a heart broken open by a lifetime of sorrows to write with this wisdom and compassion. It takes a visionary to use this knowledge in service to those the world despises—troubled youth, the homeless, the incarcerated, the poor, the migrant—to be called back for those you love." —Sandra Cisneros, author of Caramelo and The House on Mango Street
The son of Mexican immigrants, Luis Rodriguez began writing in his early teens and has won national recognition as a poet, journalist, fiction writer, children’s book writer, and critic. He has emerged as one of the leading Chicano writers in the country with fourteen published books. Luis is best known for the 1993 memoir of gang life, Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. Now selling more than 300,000 copies, this book garnered a Carl Sandburg Literary Award, a Chicago Sun-Times Book Award, and was designated a New York Times Notable Book. Rodriguez co-founded Tia Chucha Press and Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore, a cultural center in Northeast San Fernando Valley. He is currently working as a peacemaker among gangs on a national and international level.
Photo of the author by D. Zapa Media.
up on the streets of East Los Angeles, Luis Rodriguez narrowly escaped a
serious jail term for assaulting two police officers and then struggled
to overcome his powerful addiction to heroin and alcohol. His recovery
was a rich, tumultuous journey. He worked in a series of jobs; married
several times; fathered four children; ran for political office;
traveled the world; established a poetry press, community center, and
bookstore; and became an internationally respected gang interventionist.
Eventually, Rodriguez embarked on a career as a successful journalist
and a highly regarded poet. But his life was no rags-to-riches fairy
tale. In It Calls You Back, Rodriguez describes with
heartbreaking honesty his challenges as a husband and a father and his
difficulty leaving his criminal past completely behind. Most disturbing
is the terrifying realization that he cannot save his own son from the
deadly lure of gang life. Luis's emotional journey offers deep insight
into barrio life and the embattled souls of those heroic men and women
who risk everything to make it out--and return to help those left