In So Far From God by Ana Castillo, is, in many ways a quintessential novel of the Chicano experience, so it’s no surprise that the quintessential Mexican-American legend–La Llorona–appears. The basic legend is that La Llorona–literally the Wailing Woman–is a spirit who wanders–usually at night and usually along water–in search of her lost children. In […]

Names in So Far From God by Ana Castillo, are very important. I mean, you know when three of the four sisters are named Faith (Fe), Hope (Esperanza), and Charity (Caridad)–and their mother is Sophia (Sofi)–that their names are symbolic. Next, add in the fact that the fourth is called Crazy (La Loca)–everyone has called […]

When I was pregnant with my son and taking refresher classes in Spanish in preparation for starting my graduate degree in translation from Spanish to English, I spent 4 weeks in Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, Spain (and another 2 weeks touring Spain and Portugal with my husband). We happened to be in Santiago on the […]

I’ve been trying to find pictures of some of the artifacts mentioned in To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, and one of the most important – the moose-hide tunic given to the leader of the expedition, Colonel Allen Forrester, by one of the most powerful chiefs (or tyones) of the region […]

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Hummingbirds are pure motion. In the spring and summer, my yard is full of the buzz and whirr of Allen’s hummingbirds (which looks very similar to the rufous that Sophie sees). I have failed miserably in my attempts to photograph them. In To the Bright Edge of the World, Sophie Forrester becomes a bird photographer, […]

I have a confession to make – I’m a birder. I keep a life list of all the birds I’ve seen. When I visit someplace new, my first purchase is usually a local bird book. I get excited about seeing a “lifer” – a bird I’ve never seen before. This hobby started rather haphazardly when […]

When I was a child, my family camped its way across the United States, from New York to the West, three times. Ostensibly, we were going to visit one of my uncles and his family, who lived in Montana, up near the Canadian border not too far from Glacier National Park. In reality, though, we […]