The Hummingbird's Daughter (Magill's Literary Annual 2006)
The Hummingbird’s Daughter is the result of twenty years’ research by award-winning author Luis Alberto Urrea, who became fascinated by a family folktale about his great-aunt Teresita, known as the Saint of Cabora. Urrea bases his novel on facts gleaned from travel, interviews, fieldwork, and a series of newspaper articles from the 1930’s which ran in such publications as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Daily Examiner.
According to Urrea’s research, Teresita was born Niña García Nona María Rebecca Chávez on October 15, 1873, near Ocoroni, Sinaloa, in Mexico. Her mother, Cayetana Chávez, was a desperately poor, fourteen-year-old Indian girl. Her father, Don Tomás Urrea, was a wealthy rancher. Cayetana eventually abandoned her young daughter to the care of Cayetana’s abusive sister, who beat the girl with a wooden spoon. Don Tomás would not find out until years later that Teresita was his daughter.
As the story opens, Don Tomás’s backing of the opposition candidate for governor of Sinaloa angers Mexico’s dictator, President Porfirio Díaz, who invalidates the election results. To avoid possible imprisonment or even death, Don Tomás leaves Sinaloa, uprooting his entire household and moving everyone to another ranch owned by his family farther north, at Cabora, in Sonora. The six-year-old Teresita rides a donkey during the migration, just as her real-life...
(The entire section is 1806 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2006)
Kirkus Reviews 73, no. 8 (April 15, 2005): 450.
Library Journal 130, no. 9 (May 15, 2005): 109.
Los Angeles Times, July 30, 2005, p. E1.
The New York Times Book Review 154 (July 3, 2005): 9.
The New Yorker 81, no. 19 (July 4, 2005): 81.
Publishers Weekly 252, no. 16 (April 18, 2005): 44.
(The entire section is 30 words.)