My Nomination Speech for the Pen Oakland Book Awards 2013

 Lucille Lang Day Memoir, “Married at Fourteen” wins Oakland Pen Award

Nina & Lucy at Pen Oakland Book Awards 2013

Nina & Lucy at Pen Oakland Book Awards 2013

As soon as I heard the title of Lucille Lang Day’s memoir, “Married at 14”, published by Heyday Books, I felt vindicated, championed and respected. I knew at once that sometimes you can judge a book by its cover and its title. I already knew that the mature adult Lucy Day was a respected poet, editor and publisher had even had a day job running a science museum.  So with credentials like that how could her book not have a happy ending? Now, all of us teen brides could hold our heads high with the crusading smashing of stereotypes that Lucille Lang Day’s story seemed to promised.

I was not disappointed. It turned out to be a page-turner as well, revealing the seamy side of our neighbors in upscale Peidmont, whose dirty linens, unlike ours in neighboring Oakland, don’t usually make the headlines. This book written with wit, style and good will towards the “bad” and the  “dangerous” breaks every clichéd expectation and brings hope for positive female development and empowerment on that perilous road from girl to woman, that each of us, our daughters and granddaughters have to face, temptation by temptation.

“Married at Fourteen” leads the way with it’s foot printed trail to the possibility of change.   Change after all is our only constant. So, that is why I have the pleasure of nominating this book for this year’s award.

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About Nina Serrano

Nina is a well-known, international prize-winning inspirational author and poet. With a focus on Latino history and culture, she is also a playwright, filmmaker, KPFA talk show host, a former Alameda County Arts Commissioner, and a co-founder of the San Francisco Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Oakland Magazine’s “best local poet” in 2010, she is a former director of the San Francisco Poetry in the Schools program and the Bay Area’s Storytellers in the Schools program. A Latina activist for social justice, women’s rights, and the arts, Nina Serrano at 84 remains vitally engaged in inspiring change and exploring her abundant creativity. For more information go to ninaserrano.com or contact her publisher at estuarypress.com. For more detailed information about Nina see About Nina on her website.

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