My name is Lila Quintero Weaver. I’m the author-illustrator of Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White (The University of Alabama Press, 2012), a graphic novel that explores the connections between immigration and race, and of an upcoming illustrated middle-grade novel, That Year in the Middle Row, Candlewick Press, 2018.
Darkroom is the story of my family’s immigration to the American South from Argentina in 1961. Our arrival in Alabama coincided with significant developments in the Civil Rights Movement, including the dismantling of Jim Crow laws, a night of racial violence that exploded one block from our back door, and a tense and protracted period of public school desegregation.
Why a graphic novel? I’m a lifelong dabbler in visual arts and it only seemed natural to tell my story through hand-drawn images. In this blog post, I touch on some of the how’s and why’s of putting the book together. On this site, you can see sample pages, view a gallery of stand-alone images, check for upcoming author events, and follow links to interviews and reviews.
The response to Darkroom has been gratifying.
Publisher’s Weekly called it “a vivid, insightful, and moving graphic memoir.”
Graphic Novel Reporter wrote: “Stunning, not only for its beautifully rendered imagery but also for its heartfelt story.”
Please read more in Press Mentions.
I’m delighted to report that Darkroom has found a place in high school and college classrooms. It’s being used to teach the Civil Rights Movement, as a text in women’s studies, in Spanish classes, in the study of the memoir and in courses devoted to the graphic novel.
A bit more about me:
I’m a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, but I grew up in Alabama, where I still live with my husband, Paul. We have three children, all grown and making artistic and athletic contributions to their corner of the world.
I hold a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama, and relish every opportunity to keep learning new things–just like my parents did their entire lives. They’re the ones who launched me on my reading and writing journey. Behold the evidence in this early-reader photo!
Darkroom is my first book. It was named a finalist in the Small Press Expo’s Ignatz 2012 award for “Promising New Talent” and listed in Notable Books for a Global Society by the Children’s Literature & Reading Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association. Publishing launched me into an amazing adventure that has included campus visits to far-flung locations, participation in a delicious variety of conference panels, speaking engagements, and literary festivals. See more in my Events page.
Aside from writing and making art, my serious passions are social justice and hunger alleviation. My trivial passions are coffee ice cream, crossword puzzles and watching reruns of Seinfeld. I also enjoy traveling, hiking and cycling, and drawing on my iPad (see the Gallery section for some samples).
My blogging outlet is on Latin@s in Kid Lit, where I collaborate with three other authors and a librarian about children’s and YA books that feature Latino/a characters or themes. We also highlight Latino/a creators. I’m especially proud of my illustrator interviews, because these are the creators who often stand in the shadows, yet deserve so much credit for a book’s success. Sample this profile of John Parra and you’ll see what I mean.
My representative for literary works is Adriana Dominguez at Full Circle Literary. For speaking and other inquiries, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.