Saturday, March 18, 2006

BOOKS: The Hummingbird's Daughter

Urrea's the Hummingbird's DaughterI've come across some good reviews about this title by Mexican author Luis Alberto Urrea. It took more than 20 years of research for him to write this book - based on the legends about his great-aunt, Teresita - a faith healer, mystic and messiah figure of the Mexican-Indians - the 'Saint of Cabor'.

At 16, Teresita was raped, lapsed into a coma and apparently died. At her wake, though, she sat up in her coffin and declared that it was not for her. Pilgrims came to her by the thousands, even as the Catholic Church denounced her as a heretic; she was also accused of fomenting an Indian uprising against Mexico and, at 19, sentenced to be executed.

I've been trying to expand my exposure to literature from around the world. This book just seems too interesting to pass up.

It has sprinkles of humour, but it's not Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in case anyone's wondering.

'Her powers were growing now, like her body. No one knew where the strange things came from. Some said they sprang up in her after the desert sojourn with Huila. Some said they came from somewhere else, some deep inner landscape no one could touch. That they had been there all along.'


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