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!

Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

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upcoming events

National Book Festival
National Book Festival Sep 24th 4 p.m. Washington, DC

Deeply honored to be a part of this festival. Details here

Washington, DC
Sep 24th
4 p.m.
Big Read in Oak Park communities
Big Read in Oak Park communities Sep 28th 7 p.m. Dominican University Performing Arts Center, River Forest IL

Oak Park, Berwyn, Maywood and River Forest are all going Into the Beautiful North! They have some fantastic events planned. Please check all the details here.

Dominican University Performing Arts Center, River Forest IL
Sep 28th
7 p.m.
Big Read in Irving TX
Big Read in Irving TX Oct 5th 7 p.m. Irving Public Library, TX

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Irving Public Library, TX
Oct 5th
7 p.m.
826CHI: Eat Your Words benefit
826CHI: Eat Your Words benefit Oct 6th Chicago

Speaking alongside Dave Eggers at the annual fundraiser for my beloved 826CHI. Details here.

Oct 6th
Big Read in Poughkeepsie
Big Read in Poughkeepsie Oct 29th 1 p.m. Poughkeepsie Public Library

I will be visiting schools & community centers in traveling with Poughkeepsie Into the Beautiful North. Lots of great events are scheduled. Please see details here.

Poughkeepsie Public Library
Oct 29th
1 p.m.