Hummingbird's Daughter II

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abqwriter
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Hummingbird's Daughter II

Postby abqwriter » Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:30 pm


abqwriter
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Hummingbird's Daughter II

Postby abqwriter » Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:30 pm

Georganna - can't find your original post but wanted to let you know my copy arrived at the library and is now in my hot chubby hands.  I plan to start on it this weekend and will give you feedback as soon as I've read enough to get a feel for the piece.


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Georganna
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RE: Hummingbird's Daughter II

Postby Georganna » Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:58 am

Hi Lisa:

Thanks for sticking in here with me on this book, The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea, originally from Tijuana, MX.

You can't find the original post because Maria dumped the whole thread instead of just removing the hacker's posts.  I guess it kept getting hit, and they don't know how to prevent these attacks.  I've seen some others, but I don't have time to monitor all the threads, either.  Who would have thought this new topic would be so popular?

Anyway, I'd originally posted asking who are "The People" Urrea refers to in the book.  I was confused because he refers to Mexicans, Indians, the Spanish people and others, individually, but never defines "The People".  I look forward to your notions on the topic and your reaction to the book in general.  I thought it was super!


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RE: Hummingbird's Daughter II

Postby abqwriter » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:35 am

This is a great book, and Urrea does such a wonderful job of depicting the mood, culture and superstitions of this era.  I like the description of Dia de los Muertos, too.  As far as the "People", he's referring to those who live within the confines of the hacienda under the Patron's protection.  Here's a link that might help:

http://www.discoverseaz.com/History/Outpost.html

"In the haciendas of old Mexico one will find the law and custom of the feudal days. All the laws of Mexico are in protection of the land-owner. The master is without restraint, and the man lives dependent on his caprice. The patron of Bavicora, for instance, leases land to a Mexican, and it is one of the arrangements that he shall drive the ranch coach to Chihuahua when it goes. All lessees of land are obliged to follow the patron to war, and, indeed, since the common enemy, the Apache, in these parts is as like to harry the little as the great, it is exactly to his interest to wage the war. Then, too, comes the responsibility of the patron to his people. He must feed them in the famine, he must arbitrate their disputes, and he must lead them at all times. If through improvidence their work-cattle die or give out, he must restock them, so that they may continue the cultivation of the land, all of which is not altogether profitable in a financial way, as we of the North may think, where all business is done on the “hold you responsible, sir,” basis."


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Georganna
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The Hummingbird's Daughter

Postby Georganna » Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:56 pm

Ah!  Dawn comes to Marblehead.

What an interesting resource on SE Arizona, too.  Thanks for sharing that.

This book is my book club's selection for our discussion on Thursday.  It will be interesting to see if everyone else enjoyed Urrea's book as much as you and I did.  We usually have a wide variety of reactions. Unfortunately the woman who runs the group presented it as a "true story" of the author's great-great aunt ... but this is our month for fiction.  More confusion!

I'm always interested to see how someone who is basically a nonfiction writer handles a foray into fiction.  I think he did very well, but then he certainly took his time with the novel.  Another similar situation I read recently is The Shadowkiller by Matthew Scott Hansen.  In that case, the journalist shows through more prominently.

Have you finished Hummingbird yet, Lisa?

Has anyone else read it?

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RE: Hummingbird's Daughter II

Postby abqwriter » Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:07 am

Oh, I'm nowhere near finished with Hummingbird's Daughter.  I manage to get a chapter or two a night before I conk out.  Small details I enjoyed from my reading last night: the understanding of one of the characters that his blond hair came from the Visigoths in Spain, that they used the word Hijo (son) after a name as the Anglos use the indicator II, or the second.  And his description of the midwife eating her supper with the tortilla - tearing off small parts to dip in the soup or beans.  My husband's family eats this way with their tortillas, and it was so interesting to see it described in such detail here.

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RE: Hummingbird's Daughter II

Postby Georganna » Thu May 10, 2007 10:39 am

We just had the book club meeting on this book (I was a little ahead of myself last month).  Everyone applauded the selection and mostly enjoyed the read.  A few felt it dragged at the beginning, didn't like the gory details, thought the political asects were forced ... and I mumbled about the unsatisfying ending that just sort of trails off.  No one else seemed to wonder about "the People"! The leader got all tangled up in Mexican history and geography, but no one else appeared to care about understanding those aspects in order to enjoy the book. 

We had a lot of discussion of "magical realism" and this book vs. Marquez's.  One of the questions in the back of the version I read asked if the reader thought Hummingbird's Daughter displayed magical realism, too.  We agreed it did, after a teacher explained what it is.  I guess that was a big attraction for me.  It was part of the mysticism and spirituality that Terecita displayed.

Excuse me now.  I have to go practice my "flying". :)



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