Ana Maria Spagna Brings ‘Sunnyland Bus’ to Birmingham

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Author and teacher Ana Maria Spagna will be appearing at Borders in Birmingham, which is interesting considering she lives in “a very remote area of the Pacific Northwest, where we do not have telephones, not even cell phones!” So what in the world would bring her to Birmingham where we can’t go ten feet without talking, texting or tweeting?

Ms. Spagna was kind enough to answer just that question in a recent email. “I’m coming to Birmingham at the invite of local writer Joe Pontepinto,” a friend she met at a writers residence last year. “When he suggested the possibility, I jumped at the chance.”

Spagna gave me three good reasons for this unlikely stop on her current book tour: she’s never been to the Detroit metro area; she thinks readers will be interested in the book’s subject matter, due to Detroit’s history of race-related tension; and, on a personal level, “Joe’s a great guy and a terrific writer, and I’d love to help him in his efforts to contribute to a thriving literary scene in your neck of the woods.”

Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus:  a Daughter’s Civil Rights Journey is Ms. Spagna’s journey to seek out the truth behind her father’s involvement in a “simple but dangerous” act of rebellion. Test Ride look’s at Ana Maria’s father’s involvement in the Tallahassee Bus Boycott which was an important precursor to the Civil Rights Movement. Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus “deftly weaves cultural and personal history, memoir, and reportage in this fascinating look at a family and a nation’s past.”*

Spagna’s site is not to be missed. Check out her fantastic links and photos of the remote area of the Pacific Northwest which she calls home. When I asked her about re-entry she raved,  “Initially, it’s a blast. A latte on every corner! Family just a phone call away! (No phones in Stehekin, nope not even cells) Bookstores! Beer pubs!”

Though the novelty eventually wears off and nature begs, Ms. Spagna is excited to meet and talk to readers about Test Ride after spending 4-5 years immersed in it alone. Ana Maria Spagna will appear at Borders on Friday, April 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm for a reading and signing of her latest work. Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus was the winner of The River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize.

As always, call and confirm all event information before heading out the door. Schedules are subject to change.

Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters!

-Post by Megan Shaffer

*info from Ana Maria Spagna’s site

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