Join me on Women’s Voices tonight at 7 PM Pacific Time for an interview with Latina author and teacher Kathleen Alcala, author of a short story collection, three novels set in 19th Century Mexico and the Southwest, and a collection of essays based on her family history. I’ve been reading her wonderful book Treasures in Heaven. She mines her family history and heritage, and creates a world where the heart rules and deepest longings are revealed. She’s done work with The Miracle Theatre in Portland, Oregon (my hometown–I’ve seen productions there years ago, and loved it!) Her work has received the Western States Book Award, the Governor’s Writers Award, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award. She received an Artist Trust Fellowship in 2008.
Kathleen has a B.A. in Linguistics from Stanford University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Her work is often referred to as magic realism, but Kathleen considers most of it historical fiction. She does, however, have a great affinity for the story-telling techniques of magic realism and science fiction, and has been both a student and instructor in the Clarion West Science Fiction Workshop.Kathleen teaches fiction at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island.
I’m looking forward to this interview. It seems important at this time of year to explore the meaning of our family connections and heritage no matter where we come from, and Latino literature has long been a favorite of mine.
Ursula LeGuin said of her first collection, “This is a book of wonders. Each story unfolds with humor and simplicity and perfect naturalness into something original and totally unpredictable. The kingdom of Borges and García Marquez lie just over the horizon, but this landscape of desert towns and dreaming hearts … is Alcalá-land. It lies just across the border between Mexico and California, across the border between the living and the dead, across all the borders – a true new world.”