It Calls You Back
An Odyssey through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing
It Calls You Back opens with Rodríguez’s final stint in jail as a teenager and follows his struggle to kick heroin, renounce his former life, and search for meaningful work. He describes with heartbreaking honesty his challenges as a father and his difficulty leaving his rages and addictions completely behind. Even as he breaks with “la vida loca” and begins to discover success as a writer and an activist, Rodríguez finds that his past—the crimes, the drugs, the things he’d seen and done—has a way of calling him back.
When his oldest son is sent to prison for attempted murder, Rodríguez is forced to confront his shortcomings as a father and to acknowledge how and why his own history is repeating itself, right before his eyes.
Deeply insightful and beautifully written, It Calls You Back is an odyssey through love, addiction, revolutions, and healing.
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It Calls You Back
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Reading Group Guide
“You’ll be back.” These are the words that Luis Rodriguez hears as he is departing Los Angeles County Jail, where he was incarcerated for assaulting police officers and resisting arrest after he tried to intervene in the beating of a handcuffed young woman. Instead of predicting a return behind bars, these words serve as an onus for Rodriguez to make more of his life. Clawing his way out of street life and heroin addiction, Rodriguez embarks on a journey that will turn him into a successful journalist, community activist, praised poet, and most importantly, a family man.
But Rodriguez’s journey is anything but smooth. He must come to grips with his own struggles and failures as a husband and father while encountering his own father’s past demons. He fights valiantly to prevent his son from succumbing to the gang lifestyle, but in the end will watch him be hauled away in handcuffs. Amidst the fights, addictions, blackouts, battles, and hardship, Luis will emerge from his odyssey a changed see more