Biography Writing Teaching Appearances  

Linda Rodriguez' Every Last Secret: Seeking Order Out of a Mess (and other writerly events!)

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Linda Rodriguez, author of Every Last Secret, which won the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel award, will be here this coming week along with a number of other novelists, poets, memoirists. Linda Rodriguez will be reading on Saturday, June 16th from 7-8p.m. at Indigo Bridge Books (701 P Street, Creamery Bldg, Haymarket).

Every Last Secret takes place in a small college town outside of Kansas City.  The college newspaper's student editor has been murdered.  Marquitta "Skeet" Bannion is on the case.  Her journey to find the killer leads to unravelling college secrets and her own personal familial struggles. The reviews for Rodriguez' first novel have been stellar:  "Skeet's debut introduces a strong, intelligent woman detective with both a knack for solving crimes and a difficult personal life.  The next episode can't come too soon" (Kirkus Reviews), and "Fans of Nevada Barr and Sara Paretsky will relish Linda Rodriguez's stellar debut.  Her sleuth, Skeet Bannion, is a keeper.  Every Last Secret is a triple crown winner; superb writing, hell for leather plotting and terrific characters" (Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of One Was a Soldier).  

But much before Linda's anticipated reading is The Nebraska Summer Writer's Conference.  
Click HERE to check out the full schedule for this week. So many wonderful writers will be reading from their work and admittance is free to these readings and panels! Tonight, for example, poet and recent Guggenheim winner, Kwame Dawes will be reading new work inspired by the plays of August Wilson (6:30p.m. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Union Auditorium, 2nd floor).  

The title of my blog post today: Every Last Secret:  seeking order out of a mess is actually a line from Rodriguez' novel.  The grandmother says this and it refers not only to the situation in which Skeet finds herself, it is also referring to all of us and our interpersonal struggles with ourselves and with each other.  It is all the more appropriate that "Gran," the elder, says this (and Rodriguez deftly avoids the oft stereotyped grandmother).  Gran also says, "If you're waiting for things to be perfect in life . . . you'll be waiting a long time."  This line reminds me of Sandra Cisneros' story "My Name" from her book, The House on Mango Street.  In that story, the character of Esperanza is explaining the meaning of her name: "In English my name means hope . . . It means sadness, it means waiting."  And then later she compares it to her grandmother who always waited:  "She looked out her window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow."  I've always liked that phrase:  "sit their sadness on an elbow."  Brilliant.  Rodriguez's "Gran" is the opposite of Cisneros' grandmother in "My Name."  Rodriguez's Gran and granddaughter Skeet demonstrate women who are out in the world, who are unafraid to be and to name their vulnerabilities and insecurities which then transform them to self-actualized, powerful women.  Fearless!  Nice to have such strong and ethical characters in novels.  

The Kirkus Reviews definitely have it right:  "The next episode can't come too soon!"

See you at the readings!  Sending you all powerfully positive energies, dear readers!  

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