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Alex Espinoza discusses 'The Five Acts of Diego Leon' as part of ABR (w/video)

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
March 6, 2014 at 8:02 p.m.
Updated March 6, 2014 at 9:07 p.m.

Alex Espinoza signs copies of his new book, "The Five Acts of Diego Leon," at the American Book Review Series reading at the University of Houston-Victoria.

Alex Espinoza delved deep into the magical, long-gone golden era of 1920s Hollywood to unravel - in pen - the layered life of ambitious and would-be Mexican actor Diego Leon.

In his newest novel, "The Five Acts of Diego Leon," Espinoza reveals the complications of an ethnicity-challenged Leon, who is also hiding his homosexuality and the drive it took him to follow his dreams to Hollywood and succeed in, an age when dark skin wasn't desirable on the big screen.

Espinoza gave a reading from the book - published by Random House - on Thursday afternoon at the University of Houston-Victoria's American Book Review Reading Series, introducing listeners to a behind-the-scenes look at the need for a Hispanic protagonist like Leon in the 1920s and today.

"There are plenty of untold stories like this one that need to be excavated," Espinoza said after the reading. "I'm proud of how it turned out, absolutely."

Anita Strange, a senior at UHV, attended the reading.

She, too, has aspirations of becoming a professional writer and said she attended the reading to hear about the life from a professional.

"I enjoyed it. It was really interesting to hear about the cultural differences in the book, and I liked hearing about the old movies," Strange said.



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