Spirits of the Ordinary by Kathleen Alcal
A Tale of Casas Grandes

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A spectacular tapestry of folklore, spirituality, and constantly shifting landscapes, this enchanting and original first novel will appeal to readers of Isabel Allende, All the Pretty Horses, and Like Water for Chocolate. Unfolding a rare and haunting gift for story-telling, Kathleen Alcalá begins her tale in the 1880s and follows three generations of the Carabajal family on a path of forbidden love and hidden belief that wends across the Mexico-Texas border. Estela risks the security of her comfortable home and children to pursue a consuming passion. Her husband, Zacarìas, is guided by an inexplicable spiritual longing and his affinity for the indigenous people who dwell in the cliffs of Casas Grandes. Zacarìas's father, a cloistered Jew, studies the ancient wisdom of the Torah and the Cabala, hoping to unlock the secrets of his son's future. The truth, when it comes, will surprise all of them.

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Spirits of the Ordinary


About Kathleen Alcal

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Kathleen Alcala is a writer whose trilogy on nineteenth century Mexico was published by Chronicle Books. Her work has received the Western States Book Award, the Governor's Writers Award, a Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Award, and a Washington State Book Award. A co-founder and contributing editor to The Raven Chronicles, Kathleen teaches at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island, a low-residency program. She was recently deemed an Island Treasure by the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council. Kathleen received an Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Award for work on her book, Cities of Gold. She is a member of Los Nortenos writers group. Her work has been produced for public radio, and she co-wrote, with director Olga Sanchez, a play based on her novel, Spirits of the Ordinary that was produced by The Miracle Theatre of Portland, Oregon. Kathleen is the author of a short story collection, MRS. VARGAS AND THE DEAD NATURALIST, and three novels: Spirits of the Ordinary, The Flower in the Skull, and Treasures in Heaven. Her collection of essays, The Desert Remembers My Name is available from the University of Arizona Press, and her previous books are all available in paperback. Her latest story appears in SEATTLE NOIR from Akashic Books.
Published January 1, 1997 by Chronicle Books. 204 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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It's only when the army brutally attacks the old cliff village of Casas Grandes, where Zacar≥as and the followers he's gradually gathered have hidden, that he finds the answer to his long quest.

Feb 01 1997 | Read Full Review of Spirits of the Ordinary: A Ta...

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