Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Books: The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea

I just had the good fortune to take a little trip down to Tucson, Arizona for a vacation. I spent a few days getting to know phainopeplas, saguaros, javelinas, prickly pear cacti, and other desert flora and fauna. My literary companion on the trip was the excellent novel The Hummingbird's Daughter. Set in late 1800's Mexico, the book tells the story of real life Teresita, the Saint of Cabora. Born to a 14 year old Yaqui girl known as The Hummingbird, Teresita grows up under the watchful eye of Huila, a midwife and healer. Eventually, as mystical, political, and social events collide, Teresita becomes an international sensation as a miracle worker.

The Hummingbird's Daughter is a fascinating and dazzling portrait of a woman and her country. As author Gail Tsukiyama writes, Urrea's landscape is "swollen and untamed, populated by rich, educated Dons, Mexican soldiers, valiant revolutionaries, dusty vaqueros, poor Yaqui and Mayo Indians, spiritual healers, and corrupt politicians."

If you're a fan of historical or literary fiction, add this book to your reading list!

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