In this episode, we’re talking about The Tattooed Soldier by Héctor Tobar, which was first published in 1998 and was praised by LA Weekly as “The Best LA Novel Ever.”

Tobar’s novel is set in the 1990s and follows a young man named Antonio, a refugee from the dictatorship in Guatemala, now living in Los Angeles. As the LA Riots erupt, Antonio plots revenge against his wife’s killer.

Héctor Tobar joins us to talk about his early days as a journalist and what it was like to cover the LA Riots. We also talk about nurturing more young Latino writers. Finally, our reading group discusses connecting to a book set in their home town and the limits of empathy.

The Real WORD Podcast is produced by Reading Opens Minds and edited by Saul Black. Special thanks for this episode goes to Stacy Reader and Mercedes Vasquez for facilitating the book club.

In our next episode, we’ll be talking about Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. Until then, Happy Reading!