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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

Literally “5th of May” in Spanish, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated widely in the U.S. by those of Mexican heritage. It commemorates the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 when a Mexican army defeated a much larger French force during that country’s attempt to occupy Mexico. While France eventually did rule Mexico for four years the U.S. finally forced French forces to leave.

Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a day similar to St. Patrick’s Day or the Chinese New Year during which Mexican-Americans celebrate their heritage with banners, ethnic folk music, dance, food and other activities.

To experience the Mexican-American experience in fiction, try these books:

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolpo Anaya

Face of an Angel by Denise Chavez

Music of the Mill by Luis Rodriguez

The Flowers by Dagaberto Gilb

The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue by Manuel Munoz

Don’t Miss . . .

The Fairfax County Public Library's 2009 Perspectives Series concludes with Lisa Scottoline at 7:30 p.m. on May 12 at the Alden Theatre in the McLean Community Center.

Scottoline's new book Look Again is number two on the New York Times bestseller list; and everyone who attends the May 12 program will receive a free copy. Scottoline is a best-selling author of legal thrillers, set in Philadelphia featuring gutsy and resilient female characters. She has written 16 novels, with 25 million copies in print. She also writes a column for the "Philadelphia Inquirer" called "Chick Wit."

Tickets to her presentation will be distributed beginning at 7 p.m. on May 12 at the theatre; limit of four tickets per person, first come, first served. For more information call 703-324-8428 or check the library's Web site. The McLean Community Center is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave., in McLean. The library's Center for the Book thanks the Fairfax Library Foundation and the McLean Community Center for their cosponsorship.

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