DRAWN FROM REAL LIFE
SATURDAY AND NEXT SUNDAY
Most fiction is at least partly crafted from real events and people in authors' lives, to one extent or another. That's especially true of "Land of Milk and Money" by Anthony Barcellos (Tagus, $19.95, 352 pages; on sale Tuesday). Barcellos is a mathematics professor at American River College who says his novel is "more of a roman à clef than a memoir, but it parallels when I went through."
"My grandparents came to (Central California) in 1928 from the Azores and built a very successful dairy farm operation," he said. "I lived there for 20 years, until college. The whole family spoke Portuguese."
In his life as in his novel the family matriarch dies and the dairy "becomes a point of contention because the many heirs cannot agree on what to do," Barcellos said. "Some want more than what they were bequeathed."
Much of the novel's drama plays out in courtroom scenes, in which some of the heirs try to "overturn the matriarch's will and obtain more of the estate," he said. "The story is also about cultural and family traditions, and generational transition."
The book and the real-life drama have "qualified happy endings," said Barcellos, who was a 1/14 heir to the property. "In both cases, some family members remain estranged, but (in the end) the dairy is pieced back together."
Today, the T-Bar Ranch is run by the author's brother, Tom Barcellos.
One more thing: "The people in the novel aren't really my family members, although similarities can certainly be found."
More information: www.landofmilkandmoney.com
Barcellos will give presentations, answer questions and autograph his novel:
7:30 p.m. Saturday at Avid Reader, 617 Second St., Davis; (530) 758-4040.
2 p.m. next Sunday at Avid Reader at the Tower, 1600 Broadway, Sacramento; (916) 441-4400.
Three authors will sign their books, and three artists will display their works at a wine-tasting and small-plates meet-and-greet, 4 to 9 p.m. at Spoiled Rotten Women's Boutique & Art Gallery, 3330 Cameron Park Drive, Cameron Park; (530) 672-8121. The authors are Debbi Preston ("Dog Friendly Trails for All Seasons"), Kathryn Mattingly ("WomanScapes") and Chris Pedersen ("The Prisoner of Carrot Castle").
David Covin for "Princes of the Road," 2 p.m. at Carol's Books, 1913 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 335-9094.
Jack Parker for "Belizean Adventure" and three other titles in the "Adventure" series, 1 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 1256 Galleria Blvd., Roseville; (916) 788-4320.
Participate in the North Natomas Library's free summer reading program, offering a variety of poetry readings, workshops and discussions, with hands-on activities for teens and children. The library is at 4660 Via Ingoglia, Sacramento. Details: (916) 264-2920, www.saclibrary.org
Northern California Publishers & Authors will meet at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Merrill Gardens Retirement Residence, 7418 Stock Ranch Road, Citrus Heights; (916) 991-5751. Speaking will be memoirist Kiyo Sato, author of "Kiyo's Story," a recollection of life in a Japanese internment camp. The NCPA welcomes "anyone interested in writing and/or publishing."
Hundreds of books priced at $2 and less, with emphasis on sci-fi, Westerns and home improvement. Noon to 7 p.m. at the North Highlands/Antelope Library, 4235 Antelope Road, Antelope; (916) 264-2920.