Ingrid Rojas Contreras and Margo Candela

By sfrye
March 5th, 2023 - 3:09pm

ESCOM Friday Author Series 

Ingrid Rojas Contreras in Conversation with Margo Candela

Friday, March 31, 2023
Academic Center, Room 255

No registration required. Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Free parking in Lot 2, across Sir Francis Drake, off Maple Avenue and in Lot 6, off College Avenue. 
Click here for a campus map.

Join us for two exciting author events at College of Marin this spring! In this event, Ingrid Rojas Contreras will discuss her delicious memoir, The Man Who Could Move Clouds. She will be in conversation with Margo Candela, author of the new funny and poignant novel, The Neapolitan Sisters: A Novel of Heritage and Home. Snacks will be served, and five lucky people will receive a free copy of the book!

The Man Who Could Move Clouds

From the bestselling author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree, comes a dazzling, kaleidoscopic memoir reclaiming her family's otherworldly legacy.

For Ingrid Rojas Contreras, magic runs in the family. Raised amid the political violence of 1980s and '90s Colombia, in a house bustling with her mother’s fortune-telling clients, she was a hard child to surprise. Her maternal grandfather, Nono, was a renowned curandero, a community healer gifted with what the family called “the secrets”: the power to talk to the dead, tell the future, treat the sick, and move the clouds. And as the first woman to inherit “the secrets,” Rojas Contreras’ mother was just as powerful. Mami delighted in her ability to appear in two places at once, and she could cast out even the most persistent spirits with nothing more than a glass of water.

Interweaving family stories more enchanting than those in any novel, resurrected Colombian history, and her own deeply personal reckonings with the bounds of reality, Rojas Contreras writes her way through the incomprehensible and into her inheritance. The result is a luminous testament to the power of storytelling as a healing art and an invitation to embrace the extraordinary.

Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her debut novel Fruit of the Drunken Tree was the silver medal winner in First Fiction from the California Book Awards, and a New York Times editor's choice. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Believer, and Zyzzyva, among others. She lives in California.

The Neapolitan Sisters

"Drives us straight into the heart of a conflict-ridden family and their community . . . There’s love behind this book—and painful honesty, too.” —The San Francisco Chronicle

Growing up with a kind but alcoholic father and a suspicious, passive aggressive mother, the Bernal sisters each developed their own way of coping: Dulcina had her art and drugs and alcohol, Claudia plunged into her studies and fled to Princeton, and Maritza watched one Disney movie after another in between devouring romance novels.

Now all grown up, the sisters are reunited at last for Maritza’s dream wedding. But they are no less different than they were growing up: Maritza is a princess bridezilla, Claudia is the family “fixer,” and Dulcina “Dooley” is finally sober.  With all three Bernal sisters back in their East L.A. home, each begins to take steps to come to terms with each other, their parents, and the secrets from their shared past. While their lives may have taken different paths, they are still sisters at heart.

Margo Candela was born and raised in Los Angeles and began her writing career when she joined Glendale Community College’s student newspaper. She transferred to San Francisco State University as a journalism major, and upon graduation began writing for websites and magazines before writing her first two novels, Underneath It All and Life Over Easy. She returned to Los Angeles to raise her son and wrote More Than This and Good-bye to All That. The Neapolitan Sisters is her fifth novel and her first after a decade-long hiatus from writing. She now lives in San Francisco.


(415) 485-9475

Individuals seeking access support or reasonable accommodations to attend this event may contact the Student Activities and Advocacy Office at (415) 485-9376.


For more information: Spring 2023 ESCOM Author Series
Sponsored by Emeritus Students College of MarinCollege of Marin Community Education, & Book Passage.
This event is part of COMmon Read: The 1619 Project, in collaboration with the Umoja Learning Community.
Ingrid Rojas Contreras photo courtesy of Jamil Hellu.
Margo Candela photo courtesy of Dennis Menendez.