The Hummingbird's Daughter

Available in hardcover, paperback,

for your e-reader, your Kindle

and as a downloadable audiobook, read by Luis

In Spanish: La Hija de la Chuparrosa

Winner Kiriyama Pacific Rim Prize 2006

Teresita is not an ordinary girl. Born of an illiterate, poor Indian mother, she knows little about her past or her future. She has no idea that her father is Don Tomas Urrea, the wild and rich owner of a vast ranch in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. She has no idea that Huila, the elderly healer who takes Teresita under her wing, knows secrets about her destiny. And she has no idea that soon all of Mexico will rise in revolution, crying out her name." "When Teresita is but a teenager, learning from Huila the way plants can cure the sick and prayer can move the earth, she discovers an even greater gift: she has the power to heal. Her touch, like warm honey, melts pain and suffering. But such a gift can be a burden, too. Before long, the Urrea ranch is crowded with pilgrims and with agents of a Mexican government wary of anything that might threaten its power." The Hummingbird's Daughter is the story of a girl coming to terms with her destiny, with the miraculous, and with the power of faith. It is the tale of a father discovering what true love is and a daughter recognizing that sometimes true love requires true sacrifice.

 

From Luis

About The Hummingbird's Daughter

I worked for twenty years, on and off, trying to create this epic novel.  I had to learn a lot of things.  I had to learn Mexican history, revolutionary history, Yaqui and Mayo cultural history, Jesuitical missionary syncretistic history, family history.  I had to study with medicine people and shamans, midwives and curanderas.  That’s a big load of study for someone who didn’t much like school.  But fortunately for me, I had all this juicy kind-boggling story to play with.

Teresita, aka The Saint of Cabora, was indeed a relative of mine.  She was always presented to me, back in Baja California and Sinaloa, as my aunt.  I hunted her story down all over the US and Mexico, and even found some interesting roots for the novel in France.  I learned things in sweat lodges, in kitchens, in desert outbacks and tumbledown ranchos as much or more than I learned in libraries and museums.  I even lived in a haunted house full of scary shadows.  I don’t know that I’ll ever have the strength to undergo such a journey again.

Because it is, literally, my life’s work—particularly when you pair it with the sequel,Queen of America, I am very fond of the book(s).  People from all over the world still write to me about Teresita, and it is very moving to me to think that my aunt is known in India, or China.  Israel,  Italy and France.

For all its history, I am no historian, I am a story-teller.  My goal was to write a story, big and wild.  Those who have a more cosmic bent can see embedded in the adventure a guidebook into the mysteries of sacredness.  Here’s what every shaman told me: every moment of your life is sacred.

I want to note here that I have had many, many amazing book club chats over the years about this book.  There is even a Teresita club in New Delhi.  They have Hummingbird t-shirts.  I can’t get to all of your meetings, but there’s always the phone and the Skype.  Thank you all!

upcoming events

Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College
Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College Apr 27th 7 p.m. Griffin Center, Grossmont College, El Cajon CA

Visiting with the hometown crowd in El Cajon. Details to come.

Griffin Center, Grossmont College, El Cajon CA
Apr 27th
2017
7 p.m.
Grossmont College
Grossmont College Apr 27th 7 p.m. Grossmont College Griffin Center, El Cajon CA

Visiting with my home peeps in El Cajon. See you there! Details to come.

Grossmont College Griffin Center, El Cajon CA
Apr 27th
2017
7 p.m.
Fishtrap 30th Anniversary
Fishtrap 30th Anniversary Jul 10th to Jul 16th Lake Wallowa, OR

Thrilled to return to celebrate with our friends on the shores of Wallowa Lake. Details to come.

Lake Wallowa, OR
Jul 10th to Jul 16th
2017
Breadloaf Writing Conference
Breadloaf Writing Conference Aug 15th to Aug 26th Middlebury, VT

The grandest of all. Details here.

Middlebury, VT
Aug 15th to Aug 26th
2017