In the Shadows

of the Freeway:

Growing Up

Brown & Queer


On Sale for $15.95

(plus $3.00 shipping)

Order now and your book

will arrive in 4 to 7 business days

"A searing memoir of legacy, loss, and love. Infusing historical research with childhood memories, Lydia Otero poignantly reveals the weight of urban development on Mexican communities in postwar Tucson. With rare insight, In the Shadow of the Freeway is a singular contribution to Latina/o history, urban studies, queer theory, and gender studies."

Vicki L Ruiz 

University of California, Irvine


Clear glasses black shirt.jpg


Thank you for taking an interest in my books and projects.

Here are a few bio highlights:

• Being born and raised in Tucson with deep family roots on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border inspired my interest in regional history.

• I was a tenured professor in the Department of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona (2003-2020).

• In 2019, Arizona’s César E. Chávez Holiday Coalition awarded me the Dolores Huerta Legacy Award for my activism and scholarship focusing on bringing awareness to Mexican American and local history.

• In 2011, the Border Regional Library Association awarded my book, La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwestern City a Southwest Book Award.

• My first book, La Calle provided the source material for the local Borderland’s Theater's “Barrio Stories,” a site-specific theatrical event that took place over four days in 2016, and that attracted over 5,000 people.

• I founded and directed the public history program at the University of Arizona, Nuestras Tierras, Nuestras Culturas, Nuestras Historias designed to reclaim, preserve, and document the experiences and contributions of people of Mexican descent in the U.S.-Mexico border region.

• I received a PhD in History in 2003.

For webiste_edited.jpg
Upcoming Book Readings and Discussions
Book Signing
Time is TBD in Fall 2020
Tucson Museum Of Art
Time is TBD in Fall 2020
Tucson Museum Of Art, 140 N Main Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
Book reading and meet the author.
Cancelled...2019 Tucson Festival of Books...Cancelled
Sat, Mar 14
Nuestras Raices Tent
Mar 14, 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM
Nuestras Raices Tent, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
A free annual book fair held during the second weekend in March with an attendance of close 100,000.
Book Reading
Sat, Mar 07
Hotel Congress
Mar 07, 6:00 PM
Hotel Congress, 311 Congress St, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
Join us inside the Hotel Congress lobby for an evening celebrating the release of local author and historian Lydia R. Otero's new book.
Book Reading, Signing & Platica
Sat, Feb 29
Esperanza Peace & Justice Center
Feb 29, 6:00 PM
Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, 922 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212, USA
DignidadLiteraria Community Conversation
Fri, Feb 07
Alliance For Global Justice
Feb 07, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Alliance For Global Justice, 225 E 26th St, Tucson, AZ 85713, USA
Authors, activists and community members will host a Community Conversation as part of #Dignidadliteraria’s national call to action around the crisis in U.S. publishing exposed by the controversy and developments surrounding the publication of Jeanine Cummins’ novel, American Dirt.
Pueblo High School
Sat, Dec 07
Pueblo High School
Dec 07, 2019, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Pueblo High School, 3500 S 12th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85713, USA
Join me and celebrate the release of my newest book, In the Shadows of the Freeway: Growing Up Brown & Queer. Pueblo High is the perfect location to launch this book, since I graduated from the school in 1973 and this is where the last chapter of my coming-of-age memoir takes place.

Want to contact me?

Lydia Otero
Author • Historian • Researcher

Lives in Tucson, Arizona


©2019 by Lydia R. Otero.