In Ghosts of El Grullo, Yolanda Sahagún is a clever young woman who finds the symbolism in life’s smallest acts and events. She escapes into the world of literatureThe Canterbury Tales or stories from Mexican countryman Juan Rulfowhen family dramas heat up, and they often do in a household of nine children overseen by an erratic father and a mother almost too sweet to be true.
Yolanda strives to shape her own identity: as a scholarship honoree at a Daughters of the American Revolution tea party in La Jolla, Yolanda feels out of place until her mother Dolores captivates even the stuffiest ladies with her family stories from the Mexican Revolution.
The drive back to their little house in a Palm City immigrant neighborhood where eleven people share one bathroom reminds Yolanda of just how different her life is from the high society ladies of La Jolla and later, from her college peers at UC-San Diego.
When Dolores dies of gallbladder cancer during her freshman year of college, Yolanda’s struggles reach greater magnitudes as her father decides to sell their family home and she and her sisters must care for the younger Sahagúns. She travels to El Grullo, Jalisco, the Mexican village where her parents grew up, and there her subconscious mingles with the ghosts of her family’s past as Yolanda searches for answers and a path from which to navigate family, love, and her higher education.
Ghosts of El Grullo is a sequel to Patricia Santana’s critically acclaimed first novel Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility.
Patricia Santana is chair of the foreign languages department and professor of Spanish at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, California. Her book Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility (UNM Press) won the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize and was an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults.
Ms. Santana will speak and sign books at the following venues:
Thursday, April 10th at 7:30pm: Talk and signing at Warwick’s, 7812 Girard Avenue in La Jolla. For more information, please call 858-454-0347.
Friday, April 18th at 7pm: Talk and signing at Bay Books, 1029 Orange Avenue in Coronado. For more information, please call 619-435-0070.
Saturday May 17th at 2pm: Talk and signing at Barnes & Noble, 2015 Birch Road in Chula Vista. For more information, please call 619-216-0182.