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Published on Nov 5, 2014
Richard Rodriguez appears at the 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Speaker Biography: Richard Rodriguez first gained acclaim with "Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez," which tells the story of Rodriguez's journey from a schoolboy in Sacramento who knew only 50 words of English to a scholar who concludes his studies in the reading room of the British Museum. Rodriguez has been a teacher and journalist and has taken strong stands against affirmative action and bilingual education in his writings. His 1992 book, "Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father," was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. It continues the story of Rodriguez's assimilation into American culture. In his recent work, "Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography" (Viking), Rodriguez, who is gay, grapples with the paradox of loving the religions of the desert -- Islam, Judaism and Christianity -- that often exclude homosexuals.