Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea is historical fiction at its best,
based on the life of his great aunt Teresita. Queen of America starts where The Hummingbird’s Daughter concluded
with Teresita and her father fleeing their homeland in Mexico in the aftermath
of the Tomochic rebellion. Peasants and believers still flock to Teresita
hoping for cures to what ails them, whether she is in a hamlet in the Arizona
desert, the frontier of El Paso, or in New York City. Men ride from
Mexico, sent to kill Teresita, the Saint of Cabora. Her path is not easy;
she makes mistakes along the way. Teresita lives her life with passion.
Beginning where Luis Alberto Urrea's bestselling The Hummingbird's Daughter left off, Queen of America finds young Teresita Urrea, beloved healer and "Saint of Cabora," with her father in 1892 Arizona. But, besieged by pilgrims in desperate need of her healing powers, and pursued by assassins, she has no choice but to flee the borderlands and embark on an extraordinary journey into the heart of turn-of-the-century America.
Teresita's passage will take her to New York, San Francisco, and St. Louis, where she will encounter European royalty, Cuban poets, beauty queens, anxious immigrants and grand tycoons -- and, among them, a man who will force Teresita to finally ask herself the ultimate question: is a saint allowed to fall in love?
About the Author
He has won the Lannan Literary Award, an Edgar Award, and a 2017 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among many other honors. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, he lives outside of Chicago and teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Praise for QUEEN OF AMERICA:
"'Who is more of an outlaw than a saint?'" one of Luis Urrea's characters poses. The answer is this ferocious, ribald romance of the border. Jaunty, bawdy, gritty, sweet, Queen of America has a bottomless comic energy and a heart large enough to accept-even revel in-all of human folly."—Stewart O'Nan, author of Emily Alone and Songs for the Missing
"Captivating...With deft humor and a poetic lyricism that seamlessly folds one scene into another, Urrea unfolds the story of his real-life great-aunt Teresita, a teenage saint who was known for healing miracles... Each scene in Queen of America unfurls gracefully like delicate wisps of smoke. Whether Teresita is being held captive in Northern California by a band of profiteering medical professionals, or being feted like a queen in New York's social circles, this epic novel paints a portrait of America-and its inhabitants-with grace and style. It will spark fire in readers' hearts."—Megan Fishmann, Bookpage
"A gritty, bold, and much-anticipated sequel to The Hummingbird's Daughter... Fiercely romantic and at times heartbreaking but also full of humor, Urrea's latest novel blends fairy tale, Western adventure, folk tale, and historical drama. Fans of Hummingbird and readers new to Urrea's work will surely enjoy this magnificent, epic novel."—Library Journal