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The Big Texas Read Online Reading Series, December 11th, 2020
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The Big Texas Read Online Reading Series, December 11th, 2020

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A Monthly Online Reading Series from Writing Workshops Dallas & Gemini Ink

Next Up: We'll read Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's Barefoot Dogs with Moderator Oscar Cásares, UT-Austin Creative Writing Professor and author of the story collection Brownsville, and the novels Amigoland and Where We Come From.

December 11th, 2020 via Zoom @ 7PM CST


Unplug from the outside world and JOIN us at The Big Texas Read (TBTR) brought to you by Writing Workshops Dallas and Gemini Ink. As featured in Poets&Writers, Forbes, Book Riot, The Dallas Morning News, and the San Antonio Express-News, we’ll be reading ONE work of prose or poetry written by a Texas author every month! We’ll be with you all the way from page one to “THE END” with our Zoom author chats and Q&A’s, scheduled every two weeks. It's a big virtual book club, and we'd love for you to join in the fun!

We’ll read Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's Barefoot Dogs on 12/11, winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters * A San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book of 2015 * Fiction Finalist for the 2015 Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards * A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015 * One of the Texas Observer’s “Five Books We Loved in 2015” * One of PRI’s “The World’s Five Books You Should Read in 2016”

  • 12/11/20: Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, Barefoot Dogs
  • 3/10/21: Julia Heaberlin: We Are All the Same in the Dark
  • 4/7/21: Heather Harper Ellet: Ain’t Nobody Nobody
We're excited to partner with Interabang Books in Dallas and The Twig Book Shop in San Antonio for The Big Texas Read. You can order your book directly from either bookstore and have it delivered to your front door!


"Barefoot Dogs is a splendid collection. Each of these stories is a straight-on jab to the soul, the kind of sharp fictional punch that wakes us up to our own flawed, fragile, essential humanity. With this debut collection, Antonio Ruiz-Camacho shows he's already a writer of the first rank, one of those rare storytellers who leaves you wanting more even as he breaks your heart." -- Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

“Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's Barefoot Dogs is bravura, brilliant, moving, hilarious—it's both clear-eyed and dreamy, strange and beautiful, stories for our time, and also for all-time.That it's his first book is a wonder, and a wonderful promise.” -- Elizabeth McCracken, author of The Giant's House and Thunderstruck

“A deeply moving chronicle of one family’s collective devastation, full of remarkable wisdom and humor, yet unflinching in its portrayal of the horrors sweeping contemporary Mexico…Lean and beautifully rendered…Profound and wrenching… Ruiz-Camacho takes class distinctions head-on, with characters clear and unashamed of their social position and the advantages—and disadvantages—it brings….Ruiz-Camacho’s prose is muscular and evocative. He revels in intimately observed moments and sharp but nuanced characterizations.”, The New York Times Book Review

Barefoot Dogs is a family drama signifying a national crisis…Ruiz Camacho writes in a colloquial,loosely assembled realistic fashion, so that the devastating effect of the kidnapping builds slowly, but irrevocably, producing a portrait of several generations of a family suffering at the whims of criminals whom we never see…Taken together, these stories have a kind of staying power unusual in a first book.” -- Alan Cheuse, NPR

“With deftness and nuance, Ruiz-Camacho…captures the flawed but fascinating humanity of the extended Arteaga family…Readers receive a gift as rare as it is unnerving: a chance to enter imaginatively into a world of personal tragedy through portals other than pathos. Despite their myopia and unreckoned privilege, the wealthy wanderers of Barefoot Dogs never become objects of scorn or pity. And this is perhaps the most powerful testament to Ruiz-Camacho’s powers.”, Texas Observer

“Ruiz-Camacho gives each minor tragedy its due, exploring the quiet cacophony of grief with the hyper-articulated rawness of someone who has been writing in English for less than a decade. The sense of newness in the language can be illuminating.”, The Chicago Tribune

“These powerful stories are worthy of rereading in order to fully digest the far-reaching implications of one man’s disappearance. Taken altogether, this singular book affords the reader the chance to step inside a world of privilege and loss, and understand how the two are inextricably intertwined.”, The San Francisco Chronicle

"Antonio Ruiz-Camacho has written a marvelous and moving story collection: Barefoot Dogs is a brilliant and devastating portrait of a scattered, entitled, and traumatized Mexican upper-class, waking up in horror to the reality of the country they once owned. A tour de force." -- Daniel Alarcón, author of At Night We Walk in Circles

“In the world of today no calamity stays local, no tragedy private. Someone missing at a street corner leaves unhealed scars in other countries, among different generations. It is with this keen sense of intersection between personal and impersonal history that Antonio Ruiz-Camacho approaches his characters—his scrutiny of them, his empathy for them, and his versatile voice reminding us of Grace Paley, among other masters of the short story.” -- Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants and Kinder Than Solitude

“'Are you afraid of a human’s touch? Have you become that American already?' one of Antonio Ruiz-Camacho’s displaced upper-class Mexican characters asks another who is about to become her lover in the Austin, Texas laundromat where they meet. The brilliantly gifted Ruiz-Camacho, writing in English about the members of a Mexican family forced to flee their country, brings the terror, sadness, tenderness and intimacy as well as the class absurdities of contemporary Mexican life into that most traditional of American forms, the realist short story. Ruiz-Camacho’s mastery will impress and astonish, open your eyes, but most of all, each one of these stories will unforgettably touch your heart and move you." -- Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name and The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho’s debut collection Barefoot Dogs (Scribner) won the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction and was a Kirkus Reviews and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015, and a best Texas book of the decade by Texas Observer. It was published in German by C.H. Beck and adapted for radio by NDR, and in Spanish translation made by himself by Penguin Random House. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Texas Monthly, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Toluca, Mexico, he moved to the U.S. at the age of 31 and began to write in English at 35. He earned his MFA from UT Austin’s New Writers Project and was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. He’s also been awarded fellowships from the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program, Yaddo, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this reading series and/or to suggest an author.

Interabang Books is an independent bookstore with a hand-picked selection of books and gifts for adults and kids. Interabang opened in July 2017 at the southeast corner of Preston Road and Royal Lane with 12,000+ titles in popular categories.

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