Kathleen Alcalá is the author of a short story collection, three novels set in 19th Century Mexico and the Southwest, and a collection of essays based on family history. Her work has received the Western States Book Award, the Governor’s Writers Award, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award. She received her second Artist Trust Fellowship in 2008.
Kathleen has a B.A. in Linguistics from Stanford University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. She recently completed a Master of Fine Arts at the University of New Orleans, which required tortuous summers in San Miguel de Allende. Her work is often referred to as magic realism, but Kathleen considers most of it historical fiction. She does, however, have a great affinity for the story-telling techniques of magic realism and science fiction, and has been both a student and instructor in the Clarion West Science Fiction Workshop.
A permanent faculty member at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, she looks forward to spending part of each January and August with the students and faculty on Whidbey Island.
Ursula LeGuin said of her first collection, “This is a book of wonders. Each story unfolds with humor and simplicity and perfect naturalness into something original and totally unpredictable. The kingdom of Borges and García Marquez lie just over the horizon, but this landscape of desert towns and dreaming hearts … is Alcalá-land. It lies just across the border between Mexico and California, across the border between the living and the dead, across all the borders – a true new world.”
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