The Desert Remembers My Name
January 1, 1970
For Immediate Release
Holly Dolan, Publicity Manager, 520-621-3920
The University of Arizona Press
355 S. Euclid Avenue, Suite 103 Tucson, AZ 85719 www.uapress.arizona.edu
The Desert Remembers My Name: On Family and Writing
Camino del Sol: A Latina/Latino Literary Series
Publication Date: April 26, 2007
224 pages, 6 x 9
ISBN: 0-8165-2626-5, $32.00 cloth
ISBN: 0-8165-2627-3, $14.95 paper
An award-winning author offers poignant essays on the spiritual nature of writing
Kathleen Alcalá’s work takes readers to “a world where one would like to stay forever” (Ursula K. LeGuin). Her words “convincingly move the reader from one reality to the other” (Rudolfo Anaya) and attest to “the power of storytelling as testimony” (The Utne Reader). And now, in her first nonfiction collection The Desert Remembers My Name, Alcalá demonstrates that reflecting upon and sharing one’s own history is as intellectually and spiritually rewarding as using fiction to chronicle the past.
In this lyrical collection of personal essays, esteemed Chicana writer Kathleen Alcalá explores the many meanings of “family.” Having unearthed her family’s history and secrets in three award-winning novels, Alcalá now presents a memoir that reflects upon that past. In it, she ultimately uncovers the forces that shaped her as writer and shows how the act of writing can free a person from cultural and personal restraints.
Although the essays are in many ways personal, their themes are also universal. When Alcalá examines her history, she is encouraging us to inspect our own families, too. When she investigates a family secret, she is supporting our own search for meaning. After reading these essays, we understand not only why Kathleen Alcalá is a writer but also why we appreciate her so much. She helps us to find ourselves.
KATHLEEN ALCALÁ is the author of a short-story collection, Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist, and a trilogy of novels set in the Southwest and nineteenth-century Mexico: Spirits of the Ordinary, The Flower in the Skull, and Treasures in Heaven. Born in Compton, California, to Mexican parents, she now lives near Seattle, where she teaches creative writing.