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Queen of America: A Novel (edition 2011)

by Luis Alberto Urrea

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131791,855 (3.71)27
Member:hemlokgang
Title:Queen of America: A Novel
Authors:Luis Alberto Urrea
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2011), Edition: Import, Hardcover, 496 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Mexico, Audiobook

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Queen of America: A Novel by Luis Alberto Urrea

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Like sweet nothings whispered by my lover to leave my marriage bed, to dalliance with her, I listened, spending the day enamored with Teresita, ‘Saint of Cabora’, until my wife accused me of an affair with the book and then I could not leave it alone until it was done and dusted.
Intended as a sequel to his other work, The Hummingbird’s Daughter, this novel stands alone in its own glory. Here, Urrea takes us on a journey with young Teresita, accompanied by her willful father, Tomas, as they leave their family ranch in Mexico where she is adored by many as a saint and pursued by others who saw her as the leader of rebellion, of change. Her father’s politics and her laying on of hands to heal caused mixed reactions in all they touched.
Along with their entourage, publishing mogul and rebel-rouser Don Lauro Aguirre and Segundo the trusted friend, the family moves to protect the Saint and to allow her to find the weary pilgrims, the sick and dying and instill hope whether it be in Yaquis, native to the area, or the son of rich businessmen travelling from afar, Teresita uses her powers, embodied in her after a near death experience as a child, as well as her healer’s knowledge of plants and roots, to heal all and sundry.
In an historical journey through Tucson, El Paso, San Francisco and back East to New York City we learn with great detail how this great land was tethered by rail and how commerce and religion where joined through newspapers to spread the word. We learn how a revered healer can be seen as a witch under other religious customs and we follow their plight through all its trials and tribulations. Not since John Galworthy wrote about the Forsyths has a saga of a family been so documented.
From his humble beginnings to now revered storyteller, this masterpiece elevates Urrea to a class above his peers, a first class, nay master class writer, who lays the narrative with poetic license at our feet, painting postcards with paragraphs. If Teresita is the Queen then surely, today, Urrea is King.
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Like sweet nothings whispered by my lover to leave my marriage bed, to dalliance with her, I listened, spending the day enamored with Teresita, ‘Saint of Cabora’, until my wife accused me of an affair with the book and then I could not leave it alone until it was done and dusted.
Intended as a sequel to his other work, The Hummingbird’s Daughter, this novel stands alone in its own glory. Here, Urrea takes us on a journey with young Teresita, accompanied by her willful father, Tomas, as they leave their family ranch in Mexico where she is adored by many as a saint and pursued by others who saw her as the leader of rebellion, of change. Her father’s politics and her laying on of hands to heal caused mixed reactions in all they touched.
Along with their entourage, publishing mogul and rebel-rouser Don Lauro Aguirre and Segundo the trusted friend, the family moves to protect the Saint and to allow her to find the weary pilgrims, the sick and dying and instill hope whether it be in Yaquis, native to the area, or the son of rich businessmen travelling from afar, Teresita uses her powers, embodied in her after a near death experience as a child, as well as her healer’s knowledge of plants and roots, to heal all and sundry.
In an historical journey through Tucson, El Paso, San Francisco and back East to New York City we learn with great detail how this great land was tethered by rail and how commerce and religion where joined through newspapers to spread the word. We learn how a revered healer can be seen as a witch under other religious customs and we follow their plight through all its trials and tribulations. Not since John Galworthy wrote about the Forsyths has a saga of a family been so documented.
From his humble beginnings to now revered storyteller, this masterpiece elevates Urrea to a class above his peers, a first class, nay master class writer, who lays the narrative with poetic license at our feet, painting postcards with paragraphs. If Teresita is the Queen then surely, today, Urrea is King.
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Maybe if I had read the first book I might have enjoyed Queen of America however, I didn't, so I was not taken with the story.

Apparently based on the author's family history, this is the second story of the life of Teresita Urrea, the Saint of Cabora. She was a healer among her people the Yaquis and was rumored to have been a leader for Mexican rebels and insurgents. This was all revealed in the first book. This book starts off with her exile from Mexico to the U.S.

I did like the author's writing style. Finding his prose to be clear and concise. I think where he lost me was in the characters themselves. I found Teresita tiresome and her story boring. The one character who seemed to have any life and believability was her father Tomas. ( )
  NancyNo5 | Dec 13, 2015 |
A follow-up to [The Hummingbird's Daughter]. Young Teresita Urrea, the Saint of Cabora, is in America with her father after having escaped their home in Mexico. Pursued by assassins, Teresita travels into the heart of America, struggling to deal with the hordes of pilgrims and the people who want to exploit her. Urrea tells a compelling story, creating a multi-layered character in Teresita and surrounding her with a cast of fascinating companions. ( )
  porch_reader | Oct 9, 2015 |
"Fresh Meat" by Clare Toohey for Criminal Element

We’ve been fans of Luis Alberto Urrea’s since before he allowed us to launch this site with his excellent contemporary crime story “The National City Reparation Society” from Akashic Books’ anthology San Diego Noir.

If you’ve only read that, you may not know about his historic novels about Teresita Urrea, a distant relative of his. Teresita is the subject of his earlier novel The Hummingbird’s Daughter, and we return to her unusual life and struggle for security, for love, and for a personal identity in Queen of America. This daughter of a Yaqui Indian woman and a wealthy Mexican rancher, Don Tomás, has been proclaimed a saint.

Teresita died and came back to life, mystified herself by the healing powers that accompanied her mortal return. The new saint became renowned, sought out by the desperate, despised by Mexico’s dictator. A standard-bearer for the poor and needy, she is targeted by the government of her homeland and must escape.

(Read the rest at http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2011/11/fresh-meat-luis-alberto-urreas-quee... )
  CrimeHQ | Apr 11, 2013 |
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Book description
From Luis:About Queen of America

This is the sequel to The Hummingbird’s Daughter.

It’s a personal favorite because I feel I made some happy forward moves in my writing.  It is, by nature of the milieu, different from its predecessor.  Yet it still trods the pathways of the former book.  You can imagine it this way:  19th century indigenous Mexico offers different magic than, say, early 20th century Manhattan.  It goes from a planted, native tale, to the story of immigrants entering not only a new world, but a new century.  With miracles.  Or:  how does a young woman go from Mexican sainthood to her day’s version of pop-stardom?  How does one try to be the Madonna, while being Madonna?

Ain’t easy, friends.  But it is compelling, and sometimes wildly amusing, frightening, even romantic.  I had to surrender to the story more than the history books or the shamanic teachers.  So this book is faster, I think.  Everything I have ever learned about writing burst on the page before my eyes.  I will have to leave it to readers and critics to decide if it is great, or even good.  But I was writing with lightning in my hand on some pages, and it never felt so good.
Tucson, El Paso, Clifton, San Francisco, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and ultimately New York. Marriages, births, deaths. Travel and travails.  After twenty-six years, the saga is complete.

And I love Little, Brown for the astonishing cover they created!

http://www.luisurrea.com/books/fictio...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316154865, Hardcover)

After the bloody Tomochic rebellion, Teresita Urrea, beloved healer and "Saint of Cabora," flees with her father to Arizona. But their plans are derailed when she once again is claimed as the spiritual leader of the Mexican Revolution. Besieged by pilgrims and pursued by assassins, Teresita embarks on a journey through turn-of-the-century industrial America-New York, San Francisco, St. Louis. She meets immigrants and tycoons, European royalty and Cuban poets, all waking to the new American century. And as she decides what her own role in this modern future will be, she must ask herself: can a saint fall in love?

At turns heartbreaking, uplifting, and riotously funny, QUEEN OF AMERICA reconfirms Luis Alberto Urrea's status as a writer of the first rank.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:16 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The remarkable heroine of The hummingbird's daughter returns in this epic novel of love and loss in a restless America. Teresita's passage will take her across the nation as she comes to terms with her place in a new world. She must finally ask herself the ultimate question: is a saint allowed to fall in love?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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