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Wine & Book Group Pick for August '06

abstract:For August we mind-travel to Mexico where Luis Alberto Urrea captures the landscape and soul of his native country through the voice of his young protagonist, Teresita, who has been gifted with the power to heal. The Hummingbird's Daughter, (Little, Brown 2006) won Urrea the Kiriyama Prize for fiction in 2006. The prize is awarded to voices from the Pacific Rim.


August 01, 2006

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  • The Author

    Award-winning poet, essayist, and novelist Luis Alberto Urrea (pronounced oo-ray-ah) was born in Tijuana, Mexico, to an American mother and Mexican father. His family moved early in his life to San Diego where he experienced life in some of the tougher boroughs before landing in an upscale neighborhood. Urrea did his undergraduate studies at UC San Diego in writing and his graduate studies at University of Colorado. He then traveled extensively.

    He writes about the intersection of his nascent cultures, of politics and corruption, of religion and spirituality, and love in all its forms.

    He has authored eleven critically acclaimed books and won numerous awards, including the American Book Award, the Lannan Literary Award and both fiction and nonfiction categories for the Kiriyama Prize. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his nonfiction, The Devil's Highway (Little, Brown 2005) that is a national best-seller and named best book of the year by the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune, and many others.

    Urrea has been inducted into the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. He lives with his wife and three children in Chicago, Illinois, and teaches creative writing at the University of Illinois.

    Further Links

    The Elegant Variation: A literary Blog that the Guardian considers one of the top 10. Here they interview the author.

    The Kiriyama Prize: 2006

    Wine Picks

    There are seven wine-growing regions in Mexico, of which
    Baja produces 90% of the top wines. The best vineyards are situated in the micro-climates of fresh areas. In the Guadalupe Valley there is a 7.415-acre (3.000 ha) territory that enjoys a Mediterranean climate, and the best of all for grape growing is the Calafia Valley.

    Casa Grande Cabernet Sauvignon, Appelation Parras Valley has won awards in Barcelona, Brussels, Toronto, and New York. Go to the Casa Madero website for purchase information. On a recent trip to Las Ventanas Spa and Resort, this winery was the favorite regional wine tasted -- simply stunning.

    Previous Wine & Book Group Picks

    • July The Devil Wears Prada set in NYC
    • June Woolf in Ceylon set in Ceylon
    • May Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living Australia
    • April The Mermaid Chair set in South Carolina
    • March Memoirs of a Geisha set in Japan
    • February Get a Life set in South Africa
    • January The Shadow of the Wind set in Barcelona
    • December Pride and Prejudice set in England
    • November Beyond Measure set in Renaissance Italy
    • October Breakfast at Tiffany's set in New York



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