Writing Latinos, from Public Books, is a new podcast featuring interviews with Latino authors discussing their books and how their writing contributes to the ever-changing conversation about the meanings of latinidad.
Our very first episode is our interview with Natalia Molina, a Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. We discuss her new book, A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community, about the business her grandmother, Doña Natalia, started in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park. It became an important gathering place for Mexican immigrants, Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, and famous Angelenos like Rita Moreno and Marlon Brando, during a period of gentrification and demographic change.
Before A Place at the Nayarit, Molina wrote two other award-winning books—How Race is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts, and Fit to Be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939—in addition to an edited collection, and many articles and book chapters. In 2020, she was named a MacArthur Fellow.