Pat Eliet Memorial Lecture Features Echo Park Author Brando Skyhorse

aupix-bsAward-winning author Brando Skyhorse will discuss his debut book, “The Madonnas of Echo Park,” during the annual Pat Eliet Memorial Lecture at California State University, Dominguez Hills, on May 2 at 7 p.m. in Claudia Hampton Hall in Welch Hall.

“As an author who is at the start of his career as a novelist, he can interact directly with students and novice authors, to de-mystify the process of becoming a published writer,” said associate professor of English Roderick Hernandez, who is organizing the lecture.

However, Skyhorse may have a broader appeal as a “home-grown” author who can speak to his subject—his community—with acute authenticity. Hernandez said Skyhorse’s novel “lyrically depicts the search for community and the cross-cultural negotiations that are part of everyday life in greater Los Angeles.”

Skyhorse received the 2011 PEN/Hemingway Award and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the novel, which is in development to become a dramatic television series.

Madonnas of Echo Park book“‘The Madonnas of Echo Park’ is a grand mural of a neighborhood in East Los Angeles, and it’s also an intimate glimpse into the lives of people who live there who are still struggling to assimilate into American culture, even after their families have lived there for generations,” Skyhorse said in a video interview posted on

He is currently working on a new book, a memoir with the working title “Things My Fathers Taught Me,” in reference to having had five stepfathers. The book is expected to be published by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014.

Born and raised in Echo Park, Skyhorse is a graduate of Stanford University and the M.F.A. Writers’ Workshop program at University of California, Irvine. He currently works in the publishing industry in New York.

The lecture series honors former CSU Dominguez Hills professor of English Patricia Eliet, who taught at the university from 1969 to 1990.

PrintThis year’s event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities, the Department of English, and Associated Students, Inc. Promotional artwork was created by senior art and design major Jeannette Diaz as an assignment for Independent Study in Art (ART 494) taught by associate professor of art and design Michele Bury.

Copies of “The Madonnas of Echo Park” will be available for purchase at the event, with a book signing immediately following the lecture. The event is free and open to the public; however, the event is usually standing-room only so early arrival is suggested.

Guest parking is $4, and can be purchased using cash, credit or debit cards at kiosk machines located in each campus parking lot. CSU Dominguez Hills is located at 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson, CA 90747.

For more information about the lecture, contact Roderick Hernandez at (310) 243-3322 or

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