Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Luis Alberto Urrea

It's always a great pleasure to see my two favorite book worlds collide on the pages of Bookshop Santa Cruz Readers' Summer Guide. We are excited that Luis Alberto Urrea will be joining us for this summer's fiction conference. A 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist and National Book Award winner, Urrea is the best-selling author of 13 books of fiction and non-fiction and his latest novel, Into the Beautiful North, also comes Highly Recommended as a "good-humored road novel" by the book aficionados at Book Shop Santa Cruz.

Into the Beautiful North, released this month in paperback, tells the story of three young Mexican women living in a small town where all the men have immigrated to the United States. Inspired by a film (The Magnificent Seven), they hire a gay escort to help them cross the border.  Their plan is not to leave their homeland forever, but rather to get the men to return to Mexico. Library Journal describes the novel as "surprising, inventive, and very funny...while the politically charged undercurrent of the novel pulses with a compassionate vision of future."

I loved the historical, mythical drama of The Hummingbird's Daughter, published in 2005, with the unforgettable Teresita, who was described in The New Yorker review as "a mestiza Joan of Arc." Urrea is one of those crossover authors who can satisfy the erudite critics of The New Yorker while at the same time appeal to readers like my beloved sister, who is primarily a fan of the romance genre, and my dear friend, who has succumbed to years of self help and parenting books. Both my sister and friend loved The Hummingbird's Daughter, as did the editors of the The New Yorker.

In The Devil's Highway, Urrea recounts the non-fiction story of a group of Mexican Immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, an account which is exceptionally poignant given today's political climate.

For more information about Luis Alberto Urrea and his books visit the author's website.

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I have enjoyed putting together our little bookstore up in Squaw Valley over the past four years. We love our bookstore and it has been your support that makes it all possible, so Thank You!

I have received many requests for an online SVCW Bookstore. Some who miss us when they are away, and others who are just tired of lugging all those hardcovers around on airplanes. There are also those writers who are honest about being broke and needing to purchase books at Amazon's discounted prices. As fellow writers, we understand your pain!

For these reasons I thought it would be fun to try our hand at a SVCW Books and Authors blog. I will track down our authors and past participants and post their books, news, reviews and information and link our SVCW books to Amazon. Ten percent of every book purchased through our blog will help support the bookstore. I am looking forward to building an online archive of the outstanding collection of books represented by authors who frequent the Community of Writers.

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Community of Writers Onsite Bookshop Manager