Press ReleaseLocal Libraries LIT to host author Jennine Capó Crucet on January 26.

Local Libraries LIT (Listen, Initiate, Talk) will host Jennine Capó Crucet, author of the critically acclaimed "Make Your Home Among Strangers,'' which was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice book and the winner of the 2016 International Latino Book Award. The program will begin at 7 p.m. via Zoom, on Wednesday, Jan. 26, and reservations are required at by 5 p.m. on the day of the event. While the event is free and open to the general public, financial contributions are welcomed to support local libraries and to fund future programs in this series.

In October 2019, Capó Crucet was invited to speak at Georgia Southern University after "Make Your Home Among Strangers'' was read by the first year class. During a Q&A, white students questioned her authority to speak on topics such as white privilege and diversity, leading to a hostile and surreal situation that reportedly ended with students burning her book outside her hotel. She has used this experience as a way to continue the conversation about diversity, the meaning of free speech, and the debate of opposing ideas.

As the daughter of Cuban immigrants, Capó Crucet was the first person in her family to be born in the United States. Her writing is full of biting humor as she ardently depicts her time as a first-generation college student, as well as the immigrant experience.

Capó Crucet is a recipient of an O. Henry Prize, the Picador Fellowship, and the Hillsdale Award for the Short Story. Her story collection, "How to Leave Hialeah," won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, the John Gardner Book Award, and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award. Her latest work, "My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education," investigates concepts of race, gender, immigration, and the “American dream” since the 2016 election.

Patty McCarthy, Iowa City Public Library Development Office Coordinator 319-356-5249.

Local Libraries LIT (listen, initiate, talk) is a collaboration presented by every public library in Johnson County, the University of Iowa Libraries, Kirkwood Community College Library, the Community Foundation of Johnson County, and the Tuesday Agency. The goal of the speaker series is to spark action to develop thriving communities by presenting diverse speakers.

The Iowa City Public Library is a center of community life that connects people of all ages with information, engages them with the world of ideas and with each other, and enriches the community by supporting learning, promoting literacy, and encouraging creativity.