by Christine Eber
Cinco Puntos Press
International Latino Book Award finalist, "Most Inspirational Fiction Book"
Silver in Multicultural Fiction, Independent Publisher Book Awards
Zia Book Award finalist
Balcones Fiction Prize finalist
Starred review from School Library Journal
Magdalena summons the soul of her friend, Lucia, who migrated north to find work and disappeared. She tells daughter Veronica how they yearned to be teachers. How poverty and gender roles stole away their dreams. Yet, each woman remained true to herself, Lucia as a Zapatista leader and curandera; Magdalena as a weaver and community organizer. But poverty is cruel.
"This simple novel contains powerful imagery as Eber paints the landscape of Chiapas and the plights of its people. This story will transport readers and break their hearts as they learn Lucia's fate and Magdalena's struggle to live. VERDICT This is a wonderfully written coming-of-age novel with a great balance of anecdotes about the Chiapas culture and a central driving narrative about tragedy and the lives of women bound by culture and expectations."--Katie Llera, Brunner Elementary School, Scotch Plains, NJ, School Library Journal
"The book's originality, and its boldness, makes it impossible to turn away. Ambitious and demanding; one of a kind."-- Kirkus Reviews
"Weaving together the voices of Lucia and Magdalena, two Maya women friends, Christine Eber, like the backstrap-loom weavers in the novel, exquisitely crafts a complex and compassionate picture of the lives of Maya people in the highland of Chiapas. Readers will be moved by the daunting challenges these women face and the dramatic twists and turns their stories take. Magdalena chooses a traditional path; Lucia, a frightening, uncharted one. All along, the struggle to survive while remaining faithful to their ancestors' teachings hovers in the background. "--Brenda Rosenbaum, World Literature Today
Christine Eber is a cultural anthropologist whose areas of research include art, drugs, gender, religion, women's studies, writing about culture, and indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. Professor Eber is a founding member of Las Cruces-Chiapas Connection, a volunteer network that assists weavers to sell their products and that educates consumers about the effects of globalization on indigenous artisans. She is also a board member of the Maya Educational Foundation which seeks support for scholarships for young people in Maya communities of Chiapas, Guatemala, and Belize. She is author of Women and Alcohol in a Highland Maya Town: Water of Hope, Water of Sorrow which was recently translated into Spanish, and co-editor with Christine Kovic of Women of Chiapas: Making History in Times of Struggle and Hope. Her current book project, The Journey of a Tzotzil-Maya Woman: Pass Well Over the Earth, is the life story of Antonia, an indigenous woman with whom she lived during Ph.D. fieldwork in the 1980s and with whom she has collaborated to assist women's weaving cooperatives since that time.