The Hummingbird's Daughter

hummingbird's daughter cover image The Hummingbird's Daughter

by Luis Alberto Urrea
General Fiction
Back Bay Books
Paperback, 499 pages

This phantasmagoric epic set during the Porfiriato of late 19th century Mexico is a force to be reckoned with. Twenty years in the writing and five-hundred pages in length it weaves an imaginative story of the life of Teresita – Urrea’s actual great aunt – a saint who was a shaman as well as an inspiration of indigenous rebellion. Rife with polarities - tenderness and violence, sweetness and gore, realism and fantasy, life and death - the narrative is both gripping and repellent. Especially interesting is the depiction of the life of the hacendados of Sinaloa, Sonora, and even up into Arizona and their relationship to the People – the indigenous tribes of northern Mexico and the American southwest. The characters are radiant and the writing is vivid. This book was thoroughly enjoyed this past spring by the AIB Book Club - A good, long, summer read.