Author: Roberto Lovato and Vanessa Hua in conversation, Unforgetting

A partnership with Alta Journal and Litquake
Saturday, 10/22/2022
2:00 - 3:00
190 9th - Staff Training Room
Main Library

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

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Pick up this powerful read, then join Roberto Lovato in conversation.  

Journalist, activist and author Roberto Lovato delivers, Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas, a Los Angeles Times “Best Book of the Year”, a New York Times “Editor’s Pick” and a Newsweek “25 Best Books for Fall”.  

This memoir jumps around in time and geography, taking place largely in El Salvador and here in San Francisco, with recognizable settings near the 24th St. BART station, local restaurants and cafes and even the Randall Museum. 

The City has a sizable Salvadoran population, and Lovato’s story explores the context and circumstance of why people might join a rebellion, or join a violent gang or emigrate here, to San Francisco. And why the poet Roque Dalton would describe his country-people as being born “half dead”. Lovato also makes clear the relationship between U.S. foreign policy and the effects of that policy on El Salvador and on individual men, women and children—those who survive and those who do not.  

“I’m here trying to forget things,” Lovato tells a colleague on one of his stays in El Salvador. Intentional and necessary forgetting of secrets, trauma, family experiences and history is recurring, and the process of un-forgetting helps Lovato with his understanding of El Salvador, the U.S., gangs, rebels, his relationships, and ultimately, himself. 

Lovato is an educator, journalist and writer based at The Writers Grotto in San Francisco. As a Co-Founder of #DignidadLiteraria, he helped build a movement advocating for equity and literary justice for the more than 60 million Latinx persons left off of bookshelves in the United States and out of the national dialogue. A recipient of a reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center, Lovato has reported on numerous issues—violence, terrorism, the drug war and the refugee crisis—from Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Haiti, France and the United States, among other countries.

Vanessa Hua is an award-winning, best-selling author and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her novel, A River of Stars, was named to the Washington Post and NPR’s Best Books of 2018 lists, and has been called a "marvel" by O, The Oprah Magazine, and "delightful" by The Economist. Her short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities,  a New York Times Editors' Choice, received an Asian/Pacific American Award in Literature and was a finalist for a California Book Award, and a New American Voices Award.  Her new novel, Forbidden City, is available now.  

Alta Journal logoAlta Journal is a quarterly publication for anyone seeking an insider’s take on this most forward-thinking region. Each large-format issue (the West demands a wide lens) demystifies the region with provocative essays, cultural commentary, deeply reported investigations, original fiction and poetry, sumptuous photos, topical cartoons and more. Founded in 2017 by William R. Hearst III, Alta Journal provides an exciting—and much-needed—literary perspective on the West, sparking conversations that are as diverse and vibrant as the place itself. In this era of rapid change, the award-winning Alta Journal offers an immersive reading experience like no other, including offerings such as the monthly California Book Club, multiple free newsletters, and Alta Live, a weekly digital interview series. 

Litquake’s diverse live programs are created with the aim of inspiring critical engagement with the key issues of the day, bringing peoLitQuake logople together around the common humanity encapsulated in literature, and perpetuating a sense of literary community, as well as a vibrant forum for Bay Area writing. We believe in literature as a public good, so we work to produce events that are accessible to all.



Roberto Lovato - Website | Roberto Lovato - Twitter | Roberto Lovato - Instagram

Vanessa Hua - Website | Vanessa Hua - Twitter | Vanessa Hua - Instagram

Litquake - Website | Litquake - Twitter | Litquake - Instagram 

Alta Journal - Website  | Alta Journal - Twitter | Alta Journal - Instagram

Engage with your favorite writers and discover your next read.

On The Same Page is a bimonthly city-wide read.

Connect to engaging discussions and performances related to the Latino American community.

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

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