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Nov 11, 2021

Debra and I discuss how her book, featuring two sisters from Mexico who cross the border illegally to find their father, avoided the controversy that enveloped American Dirt through her attention to authenticity, her background with immigrant groups, and her use of well-vetted sensitivity experts. Another highlight of Debra’s writing journey with Luz was winning Story Circle’s  Sarton Book Award for Contemporary Fiction, since its namesake May Sarton wrote Journal of a Solitude, a touchstone of Debra’s since its publication in 1973. Luz was also named the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Multicultural Fiction.

Originally from Binghamton, New York, Debra has lived in Southern California most of her adult life. She taught literature and writing at James Monroe High School, a Los Angeles public school, and English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults from all over the world. Her work as an immigrant and refugee rights advocate led her to write Luz. A lover of all creatures great and small, when she isn’t with her two horses, she is relaxing with her husband and little dog, watching all the birds and critters that visit her backyard feeders. She is currently at work on her second novel to be published Spring 2023.

To learn more about Debra, click here.