SELECT COLUMNS FROM THE TUCSON CITIZEN
Alva B. Torres
Compiled by Lydia R. Otero
Paperback; 244 pages
Product Dimensions: 6 x .06 x 9 inches
Published: September 23, 2021
From 1984 to 1993, Alva B. Torres wrote close to 400 columns for the Tucson Citizen, one of Arizona’s major newspapers. In the journalistic world, she stands out as one of the first Mexican American women to write a weekly column for a key newspaper. In addition to recipes, Torres took this opportunity to share childhood memories and write about Mexican Americans who lived in Tucson, known as Tucsonenses. She also often made those active in local school programs, civic life, or operating small businesses the focus of her columns. Although never overtly political, Torres steadfastly reminded her readers that Mexican people and culture had always played a critical role in the city’s past. By focusing her columns on ordinary people and places, and highlighting local cultural practices, Torres garnered many fans and a wide readership. In addition to Torres’s insights about Mexican food, Notitas offers an exceptional selection of columns that provide readers the opportunity to learn more about Alva B. Torres as a person and her thriving social world.
Best Latino Focused Nonfiction Book Award
category on behalf of the
2022 International Latino Book Awards!
“In the late 1960s, my mother’s older sister Alva B. Torres fought to preserve La Placita de la Mesilla and inspired the creation of a City historical commission. Her boldness impacted me. When my tía began writing weekly columns, they evolved from recipes into glimpses of the Tucson that she knew before and after World War II. At first glance, her columns appear nostalgic but they reveal resistance to physical and cultural erasure. Tía Alva ended her columns in 1993 but her influence continued. Starting in 2000, as a columnist for the Arizona Daily Star, the subjects I wrote about were extensions of hers. I paid homage to those who would have gone unnoticed and championed individuals and families, many of them immigrants from south of the border who sought new lives in Tucson.”
—Ernesto “Neto” Portillo Jr,
Former Arizona Daily Star Columnist
“Whether they reminded us of our own past or connected us to a different time and culture, Alva Torres’s columns were a weekly gift to the Tucson community.”
Former Tucson Citizen Columnist
“At the heart of Alva Torres’s success as a community columnist is the fact that she is herself deeply and personally rooted in Tucson. She can express with utmost reverence why the culture and history of our city are its life blood. All in a style of writing that made you feel like you were sitting across a kitchen table with her for a spirited discussion.”
Former Tucson Citizen Writer and Columnist
About Alva B. Torres
Alva B. Torres was born in 1932.
In the late 1960s, Torres organized the Society
for the Preservation of Tucson's Plaza de la Mesilla
or La Placita Committee,
the most formidable resistance to urban renewal
that targeted Tucson's barrios. In 1975, the Tucson Advertising Club named her "Woman of the Year"
for her efforts in historic preservation and
for chairing the Tucson Bicentennial Committee
that staged numerous events to
celebrate the 200th year in
which the city was established.
Between 1984 and 1993, Torres wrote a
weekly column for the Tucson Citizen.
These columns provide the source material
for her book, Notitas.