The Desert Remembers My Name: On Family and Writing

The Desert Remembers My Name: On Family and Writing

Kathleen Alcalá / Oct 25, 2020

The Desert Remembers My Name On Family and Writing My parents always told me I was Mexican I was Mexican because they were Mexican This was sometimes modified to Mexican American since I was born in California and thus automatically a U S citizen Bu

  • Title: The Desert Remembers My Name: On Family and Writing
  • Author: Kathleen Alcalá
  • ISBN: 9780816526260
  • Page: 481
  • Format: Hardcover
  • My parents always told me I was Mexican I was Mexican because they were Mexican This was sometimes modified to Mexican American, since I was born in California, and thus automatically a U.S citizen But, my parents said, this, too, was once part of Mexico My father would say this with a sweeping gesture, taking in the smog, the beautiful mountains, the cars and houseMy parents always told me I was Mexican I was Mexican because they were Mexican This was sometimes modified to Mexican American, since I was born in California, and thus automatically a U.S citizen But, my parents said, this, too, was once part of Mexico My father would say this with a sweeping gesture, taking in the smog, the beautiful mountains, the cars and houses and fast food franchises When he made that gesture, all was cleared away in my mind s eye to leave the hazy impression of a better place We were here when the white people came, the Spaniards, then the Americans And we will be here when they go away, he would say, and it will be part of Mexico again Thus begins a lyrical and entirely absorbing collection of personal essays by esteemed Chicana writer and gifted storyteller Kathleen Alcal Loosely linked by an exploration of the many meanings of family, these essays move in a broad arc from the stories and experiences of those close to her to those whom she wonders about, like Andrea Yates, a mother who drowned her children In the process of digging and sifting, she is frequently surprised by what she unearths Her family, she discovers, were Jewish refugees from the Spanish Inquisition who took on the trappings of Catholicism in order to survive Although the essays are in many ways personal, they are also universal When she examines her family history, she is encouraging us to inspect our own families, too When she investigates a family secret, she is supporting our own search for meaning And when she writes that being separated from our indigenous culture is a form of illiteracy, we know exactly what she means After reading these essays, we find that we have discovered not only why Kathleen Alcal is a writer but also why we appreciate her so much She helps us to find ourselves.

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      481 Kathleen Alcalá
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      Posted by:Kathleen Alcalá
      Published :2020-07-24T20:10:45+00:00

    About "Kathleen Alcalá"

      • Kathleen Alcalá

        Kathleen Alcal born 29 August 1954 is the author of a short story collection, three novels set in the American Southwest and nineteenth century Mexico, and a collection of essays She teaches creative writing at workshops and programs in Washington state and elsewhere, including Seattle University, the University of New Mexico and Richard Hugo House Alcal is also a co founder of and contributing editor to The Raven Chronicles A play based on her novel, Spirits of the Ordinary, was produced by The Miracle Theatre of Portland, Oregon She served on the board of Richard Hugo House and the advisory boards of Con Tinta, Field s End and the Centrum Writers Conference She is the winner of several awards for her writing, including an Artist Trust Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship in 2007.Alcal resides on Bainbridge Island, Washington from


    321 Comments

    1. This is only one of Hedgebrook alumna Kathleen Alcala's impressive body of literature. She excels in memoir as she does in fiction. And if you get a chance to hear her read don't miss it!



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