Thursday, October 3, 2013

Forever, Our Mexican Girl

Jack Kerouac’s book “On the Road” has long been a youth anthem for generations. After tomorrow, Tim Z. Hernandez’s “Manana Means Heaven” will surely be added as an anthem for Mexicans and lovers of literary greatness everywhere.

The book, “Manana Means Heaven” tells the tale of  Terry a real life character readers first met in Kerouac’s
“On the Road “ and  in the excerpt titled The Mexican Girl” which was featured in the Paris Review in the year 1956. It is crazy really that this woman “Terry” (actual name Bea Franco) met Kerouac while awaiting a bus in Bakersfield headed to Los Angeles. Together, she and Kerouac spent their nearly two week relationship traveling throughout the Central Valley  and along with migrant workers toiling in the fields of rural Fresno.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/ Bea Kozera Estate)

It is crazy that Bea Franco was immortalized in the literary world and for years, she had no clue of this fame. I recall reading this book and being drawn to her character that I reread her story repeatedly. A Mexican girl, married, with two children, fleeing her abusive husband  in one of the greatest coming of age books in the world and this brief tale is centered around all that is familiar to me; Fresno, Central Valley, Selma, field workers, a Mexican girl, my Mexican people. What girl wouldn’t be drawn to those factors?  

Bea was immortalized by Kerouac’s book but what Tim Z. Hernandez has done was create life to her character, both through the greatness of his imaginative mind and also the time he spent interviewing her. Hernandez found Mrs. Franco living in Fresno and with vivid memories of her time spent with Kerouac. What Hernandez created will no doubt become a masterpiece in the literary world.
Tomorrow at Fresno Art Museum is the Official Book Release Party from 6pm  sharp – 8pm. If you or someone you know would like to attend and support our local writers that are doing it big in the literary world. I encourage you to attend.  Spread the word, attend, support, buy a book & read. In Fresno we are all about reading.
Where: Fresno Art Museum
2233 North First Street
Fresno, CA 93703
Time: 6-8pm
for additional information on Tim Z. Hernandez and his book Manana Means Heaven visit:

Francine Ramos McMillon
Penned Write
for all your writing needs
Contact me @
or by phone @ 777-0746


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