Mario Alberto Zambrano: "Loteria: A Novel"

Home-made Lotería boards (Spanish: "Tablas de Lotería"). Lotería is a traditional Mexican game of chance. Image by Alex Covarrubias.

 - (Wikimedia Commons)

Home-made Lotería boards (Spanish: "Tablas de Lotería"). Lotería is a traditional Mexican game of chance. Image by Alex Covarrubias.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Mario Alberto Zambrano: "Loteria: A Novel"

A former international ballet star talks about his second career as a writer. He describes how a card game he played as a child inspired his first novel about a troubled Mexican-American family.

Loteria is the Spanish word for lottery. It's also the name of a popular game in Mexico, similar to bingo. Loteria uses a deck of cards with colorful images. Each player has a board with a different set of pictures, and instead of calling out numbers on a ping pong ball, the dealer sings out a riddle for each picture. Mario Alberto Zambrano grew playing Loteria with his family in Houston. After a 17-year career as an international ballet dancer, he turned to the cards to help him write a novel about a Mexican-American girl trying to understand her place in the world. Zambrano talks with Diane about why he switched careers and the inspiration for his writing.

Guests

Mario Alberto Zambrano

novelist and former contemporary ballet dancer.

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Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from "Loteria: A Novel" by Mario Alberto Zambrano. Copyright © 2013 Mario Alberto Zambrano. With permission of Harper Publishing.

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