Set in northern Mexico in the 1870s, Spirits of the Ordinary tells interweaving stories centered on Zacarías Carabajal, who leaves his comfortable city home to prospect for gold in the wilderness while his abandoned wife, Estela, struggles to build a new life. Visions, dreams, and portents are part of the everyday world of Spirits of the Ordinary. Estela's siblings, the enigmatic and supernaturally beautiful twins Manzana and Membrillo, discover their gift for water divining. Zacarías's mother, Mariana, has been silent all her adult life after experiencing an apocalyptic vision of angels in her teens. His father, Julio, is an apothecary devoted to Torah study and Jewish mysticism, practicing his religion in secret as generations before him have done. Meanwhile, Zacarías's wanderings turn into a spiritual quest that takes him to the ancient cliff dwellings known as Casas Grandes.Presenting a tapestry of fascinating lives as well as the story of a reluctant mystic in a spectacular desert landscape, Spirits of the Ordinary demonstrates that, as Alcalá writes in her introduction, "magic and holiness are all around us."
A writer whose work embraces both traditional and innovative storytelling techniques, Kathleen Alcalá is the author of six award-winning books that include a collection of short stories, three novels, an essay collection, and a blueprint for sustainability, The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island. The daughter of Mexican parents, Alcalá was born and raised in California, and now lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Claudia Castro Luna is an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate fellow (2019), WA State Poet Laureate (2018 – 2021) and Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet (2015-2018), the author of One River, A Thousand Voices (Chin Music Press), the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) also shortlisted for WA State 2018 Book Award in poetry, and the chapbook This City (Floating Bridge Press). Her most recent non-fiction is forthcoming in There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis (Vintage) due out in May 2021. Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981. Living in English and Spanish, Claudia writes and teaches in Seattle on unceded Duwamish lands where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.
Information on joining the free Zoom is available here. We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible!
*Anyone interested in ordering Claudia Castro Luna's book can find them here. Eagle Harbor Book Co. will be unable to order them for this event. Thank you for understanding.