Queen of America

A Novel


By Luis Alberto Urrea

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At turns heartbreaking, uplifting, fiercely romantic, and riotously funny,this novel from a Pulitzer Prize finalist tells the unforgettable story of a young woman coming of age and finding her place in a new world.

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?


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Book I


Part I


Dr. Braburn: Many people consider you a saint, due to your many healings. Do you consider yourself a saint?

Teresita: True, I have cured some, but I have never known how, and because of this I have never considered myself a saint. I have always been ashamed of that title.

Nogales, Arizona
June 25, 1892


TWO RIDERS CAME FROM the darksome sea, black against the morning light, and they tore into the first Mexican village. They demanded, as they would demand in towns north, the same information: "Have you seen the Saint of Cabora?"

And at every dust-choked ville, in each forlorn rancho with nothing but skeletons mouthing the dry water tanks, in every charred Indian settlement, they were pointed north. That was all the People knew—she was there, far away, north. Gone. The People had come to fear unknown men seeking news of the Saint. Unknown men with great rifles and grim faces. Unknown men with questions. Such men had killed hundreds of the People and brought in hordes of slavers and soldiers to imprison others and drag them to their doom.

Always from horseback, sometimes from behind weapons pulled and cocked, shouted, rude, louder than the People cared to be spoken to: "You! Do you know where we can find the Saint of Cabora?"

No, it was better to shake their heads and point north. Nobody knew anything.

"We do not know her," they said. "They say she is in el norte."

Even those who felt abandoned by her, forgotten, dared not complain to these men. What if it was a trick? Some devilish strategy?

A voice in the dark outside yelling, "Long live who?" Think a long time before answering.

"Try looking in el otro lado," they said, turning away.

The other side; yes, of course. The United States.

The riders didn't know much—they were incurious men, for all their interrogations—but they did know their masters feared her return. And these two feared their masters. The great men in the great halls that the black riders would never see would burn the entire land to eradicate her. There was no failure available to the riders.

"She has not come through here?"

The People shook their heads in village after village; they returned to their meager labors.

"Who?" they asked back. "We never heard of her." Their lips fluttering with minuscule flags of burned white skin. At most they would look down and mumble, "That's an Indian thing." They scratched in dead soil, under white sun, with woven straw satchels of hard corn and clay jugs of muddy water and they did not look up to the riders, did not show their eyes. Something bad was crossing their land. They hunkered down, like their ancestors before them, and silently wished their saint good luck.

When there was a town big enough for beds and tequila, the riders watered and fed their horses, ate cooked meat with frijoles and tortillas, drank. People in the small eateries backed out the door. Women in the dingy hotels turned to the piano players and hoped the riders did not seek their flesh. These two enjoyed the fear they caused. Twin .44 revolvers, long big-bore rifles, great belduque knives like half swords. And that smell. They only smiled at each other. Sometimes they paid. And before light came, they left.

It was hard riding. Hot. They had no time to dawdle or bathe, no time for women. Most nights they slept under a delirium of stars, under slowly spinning heavens black and hard as ice and shattered along the horizon by bare peaks devoid of trees. One was stung by a scorpion; he pinched it and slowly pulled its tail off. They were sons of rocks and spines.

They shot rabbits from their horses and speared the little corpses on saguaro ribs and ate standing in the smoke of the fire. The smoke drove the lice from their chaps.

They pointed and nodded and grunted like the most ancient of wanderers who'd passed through here before there were horses. Talking dried out the mouth and the throat. There was nothing to say.

They stopped a lone ore wagon somewhere in the Pinacate desert and asked again: "Have you heard of the Saint of Cabora?"


"Where is she?"

"She went north."

"Have you seen her?"

"I have not seen her."

"Are you sure?"

The wagon driver hiding a small shotgun under his serape, and the riders, knowing it, fingering their pistols.

"Will you kill her?" the mule skinner asked.

They said nothing.

"Better her than me," he said, and shook the mules awake with a jerk of the ropes, and the heavy dark wagon groaned like a dreamer into the terrible light.

"She lives close to the border," he called back. "In the Pimería. Look for trees."

They exited Sonora through a defile in the rocks east of Nogales. The taller of the two was constantly watching the peaks to his right, aware of the Apaches hiding there—not afraid, but sick to his stomach when he imagined them coming like wasps out of some arroyo, and him mounted on his horse with Apache scalps and ears thronged across the back of his saddle. He would be roasted alive if they caught him. Still, it did not occur to him to remove the totems from the witness of the sun.

Around his neck, his companion wore a simple talisman on a black thong: one human finger bone.

They turned east and rose into foothills that seemed lent to this landscape from an entirely different world. Pine trees and oaks. Small streams winding down. Jaybirds and deer. They would have killed a deer for real food, but they were too close, they could feel it. The riders could not afford a shot now, even though the deer made their mouths water and their guts yowl within them. No, they would not signal their targets that retribution was upon them with an undisciplined rifle shot. They sucked pebbles so that spit flowed down their throats to fool their bellies. They had heard there was a great bosque of cool trees by water. The Girl Saint and her damned father would be cowering there.

Later, after their targets were dead and the scalps salted and packed away in burlap and sawdust, there would be venison. Meat steaming from the fire. Dripping fat like tears.

The cabin was so different from anything in Mexico. They could have been blindfolded for the whole journey and then been unblinded and they would have seen immediately they were in gringo territory. Perfectly squared walls. Neat fences. Hewn wood. White smoke unspooled out of the chimney and gave the air a scent of cedar, even where the riders hid above, in a strange small crown of granite. As if American tidiness could keep the devil at bay.

They were far from the cabin, but they could still hit it easily. They counted three horses. There were a few goats there too. The tall one held a spyglass to his eye. It wasn't good, but it was good enough. Ah, there she was—skinny, wasn't she. In a long pioneer dress. He scoffed. Stupid American clothes. He spit. She was casting some kind of water pan out among her chickens—milky water scattered the birds. She went inside. He adjusted his gaze to the window. There! There he was. Her father. The Sky Scratcher, the Indians called him.

Perhaps, thought the tall one, the devil is attracted to pretty little houses.

"He don't look that tall to me," the short man said.

"He's sitting down, pendejo," his companion replied.

He grunted, spit, squinted.

The Sky Scratcher was just a shadow through the cheap glass of the window. The rider shook his head. He could not believe they had glass windows. He had never had glass windows.

Just for that, they deserved what they got.

"They don't look special to me," the short one said.

"Cabrones," the tall one replied. "Bring me the rifle."

In his grove of cottonwoods and mesquites, Tomás Urrea lay in the ghastly heat of his little house. His head pulsed slowly with the crunching beat of his heart. Hungover again. Sick to his belly. Tired.

You know you are old when you awaken exhausted, he thought.

Tired of so many things. Tired of struggle. Tired of the pilgrims who still sought them out, hoping for a touch from his daughter. Oh, the Saint! They would follow her to her grave. And worse—his friend Aguirre had warned him that Mexico would regret letting her live. There would be men pursuing her.

The United States. Bad things were not supposed to happen here. He rubbed his eyes. He was tired of the United States. He did not want to admit the deeper truth: he was tired of his daughter.

He sat up slowly and stared into the murk. It was always dark in here.

"Teresita?" he called.

Why was he shouting? They only had the two rooms and a small kitchen off to the side. He could have whispered and been heard. But she was gone. Nineteen-year-old girls had a way of vanishing when they wanted to. Gone again—gone every day in the trees or out on the desert, cutting and collecting weeds. He shook his head. Talking to crows or something. Healing lepers.

He leaned over and spit on the floor. Why not. It was only dirt.

A shadow fell across the doorway. He felt around for his guns. Where were his pistolas? Not for the first time, he thought: How can I let her go wandering when I expect attacks from these goddamned religious fanatics? Back at their old hacienda, at Cabora, Teresita would have been watched over day and night. In his mind, he heard her voice. It had that tinge of disapproval that all young daughters seemed to develop and use when speaking to their fathers. That slight disappointment. Perhaps, her imagined voice said, you were drunk when I went out and didn't notice I left.

The outsider knocked on the doorframe.

Tomás stood and steadied himself on the table and then dragged his gunbelt out from a corner where he'd flung it on top of his wadded black coat. He went to the door, squinting—the damned sunlight hurt like a punch in the eye. He leaned on the frame and looked out. A pilgrim. But what a pilgrim stood there. Filthy, but they were often filthy. Skin dark as nutshells. But his eyes were pale grapes wobbling in his skull, bugged and sunburned. He had a reek about him of brown teeth.

"Where is the Saint?" this creature demanded.

"Otro come-mierda," Tomás muttered.

The man quivered.

"I do not eat shit," he said.

"You smell like it."

"I will see the Saint."

"You will not."

"Make way." He reached behind himself.

"What have you got there?" Tomás demanded.

He had a machete tucked in his rope belt. He started to draw it. Tomás snatched one of his pistolas out of the holster and hammered the pilgrim in the head with it and dropped him limp to the ground.

"Like a wet coat," Tomás said. He drew back the hammer and sighted down the blue-black barrel. He let the hammer down softly. Cocked again. The pilgrim moved in the dirt like an upended centipede. "I want to," Tomás confessed. "I really do." He let the hammer back down.

Several of the pilgrim's comrades hid in the shadows across the small clearing.

"You," Tomás ordered. "Collect this trash and be gone. And if I see any of you again, I will shoot you all."

They came forward with their heads bowed.

"Do you believe me?"

They nodded.

"Say it."

All they said was: "Sí, señor."

The short one retrieved a massive old Hawken rifle from a suede scabbard and delivered it to the tall one. He affixed a small bipod to the end of the octagonal barrel and flipped up the tall rear sights. The rifle smelled of oil. It was cool in the warmth of the sun. He rested his cheek upon the silky stock; it was carved with roses and hummingbirds. He drew a bead on the doorway, dark and empty. Then he swung to the window, to the blur of the man sitting within. Probably at a table. Reading a book. The gunman sneered.

He drew back the hammer—it resisted the pull just slightly; the liquid clicks of the gun's mechanisms as it prepared to shoot were soothing to him, like music. It was a five-hundred-yard shot, but downhill and no wind to speak of. He settled himself against the rocks, felt his ribs press into the earth, and he set the rifle tight to his shoulder and slipped his finger onto the trigger. Breathe. In. Out. Ignore the girl, appearing in the doorway now like a ghost in his peripheral vision. He could shoot the father and swing on her before she heard the shot. Papa would be dead in a cloud of red mist before the sound of the crack turned her head.

He fired; the window burst; the man's shadow exploded. Damn, the kick was brutal against his shoulder. He'd have a bruise. The girl spun to see what the shattering was. He took her with a shot drilled into the center of her back; she flew, disappearing like some magical act in a cabaret, into the deep dark of the cabin.

The riders got down to the cabin, to chickens still panicking and the tied horses sidestepping and tossing their heads. It was funny how strong the smell of blood was. The whole yard smelled of meat and old coins.

The short one threw a kick at a hustling chicken and said, "Supper."

His companion grinned.

They stepped into the cabin. It stank. So much blood in such a small space. They were both dead. The wall behind the table was sprayed with a starburst of deep red. More than dead. Those finger-length bullets tended to scatter the flesh. But their heads were intact.

"Drag them out," the tall one said. He grabbed Papa by the feet. The other took hold of the girl's wrist and pulled her out by one arm.

They yanked their belduques and bent to the scalping, avoiding the dark blood that still leaked from the tatters.

Her hair was red in the sunlight, her neck sugared with freckles.

The rider turned her head on her limp neck and looked at her face.

"Ah, cabrón," he said.

"¿Qué?" his friend said.

"This ain't her," the first one said.


They looked at Papá, then kicked him.

"It's the wrong family?"


They lit small cigars and stood there, stupid and hungry.

"I guess we keep looking."

"I guess."

"Burn the house?"

"Why not."

"But first…"

"First, we eat some chicken."

And they did.


A DAY LATER AND miles beyond.

"The Saint of Cabora can no longer speak to the dead," Don Tomás Urrea said to the newspaper reporter.

Tomás turned away from the Arizona desert and regarded his interlocutor. The two men were sitting in the shade of the mesquite and paloverde trees of the rented bosque. Not far from them, the Santa Cruz River made its hot and languid journey away from Tucson, and on its banks a few cottonwoods had managed to grow—old grandfather trees, scarred by lightning and heat and drought. Don Tomás could hear them rustling in the desiccating breeze. His daughter the fabled Saint of Cabora regularly pointed out that the leaves of cottonwoods looked like hearts as big as hands, and they waved at you in the slightest wind. Beyond the trees, all was stones and rattlesnakes. He smiled ruefully. If they were in Mexico, he could show this reporter a bosque! Back there, he would have called it a huerta, and the mango trees would be dropping fat juicy fruit at his feet. But this was not the time for reveries, he told himself.

The reporter seemed to be waiting patiently as Tomás ordered his thoughts. Of course, the gringo note-taker could not possibly know of the endless parade of rattling ideas, memories, worries, regrets, schemes that tromped through his skull. Who could? Sometimes, if Tomás drank enough, he could postpone the haunting, he could trip the ghosts and make them stumble.

Tomás tried to focus, but all he could imagine were scenes of his lost life, turning to dust in Sonora. His ranch, gone. His woman, bereft and lonely. His wife too. And his children.

He wondered if his horses missed him. He wondered if his top hand, Segundo, had whipped the tattered workers of the ranch into shape and earned him some profits. He wondered how a man made his fortune in the United States. Hell, how did a man even eat?

"Bosque," he said.

"Pardon me?" replied the reporter. They were speaking Spanish, but Tomás was convinced he had mastered English, and he intended to show this fool a thing or two.

"That is the name of this place: the Bosque Ranch."

"I see."

But he did not see. To be a ranch, a place needed cattle, horses, crops. Tomás and Teresita sleepwalked, stunned by their escape from death in Mexico. In unspoken mourning over the lost families and lovers, friends and memories cast out upon the sand by the violence of Indian wars, by the assaults of the government on their home. All Tomás had left was his great self. What else was there?

His daughter had her God and her herbs and her holiness.

She had ruined him.

He had been used to great bouts of superhuman activity. His days were filled with horses and vaqueros and cattle and laughter. Strong drink. Women. Always women! His days had been full of noise! And now, Arizona.

It was silent. He had never heard such pervasive silence. Except for the birds, which did not allow him to sleep in the mornings. The Apaches told him there were more birds in Arizona than in all the rest of the world, and he believed them. But you could not ride birds.

I will never go home.

In the bright house in Tubac, the Saint of Cabora cried out in pain.

"Be still, Teresita," her hostess said.

"It hurts!"

"Being a woman hurts," the lady replied.

Teresita closed her eyes. It was as if she were a small girl again, and her old teacher were speaking to her. Huila. Old Huila! Gone now to the place of flowers.

The women were preparing for a funeral, but, as is often the case, these survivors who attended to the details after a death felt a small giddiness just to be alive. Yes, a relative's death diminished them, but such passings also reminded them they were alive, more alive on some funeral days than on other days. Teresita thought: Life continues, even in this desert—weddings, births, illness, death—it is our story, always. No one dared laugh loudly when a quip lightened the room, but they avidly sipped their teas and their coffees and ate small pastries and perched on the edges of their chairs and stared at the Saint of Cabora as she spoke. Their eyes bright.

"Your father," one of the women said, "is quite charming."

"And handsome!" another enthused.

Teresita squirmed in her seat.

"We have fallen on difficult times," she said. "He is, though, still possessed of great charm."

"Is it true," her hostess asked, "that he nearly died to save you?"

Teresita felt shame. Her burden of guilt was heavy. Now, when she and her father scratched at each other in their endless skirmishes, she felt doubly guilty. Everything was confusing to her.

"He was heroic," she finally said. "In our tribulations."

The women passed looks around the room—it was all so thrilling.

"So tell us more," her hostess requested.

"¡Ay! Well, the soldiers came for me. They insisted I had inspired war. Revolt. Oh! That hurt."


The women clucked.

"I did not inspire war, I never preached war. I was trying to tell the People of God's love… of God's justice."

The women looked at one another, nodded.

"I was to be executed. It was clear. I was sent to prison with my father. There… we suffered. Terrible things." She jumped in her chair. "But now I must suffer this torture instead!"

"Quiet now. Don't be a ninny," her hostess said.

Through the window, Teresita could see the twin cottonwoods at the Tubac river crossing. Teresita had stopped at the ruins of Santa Gertrudis Church for a quiet morning prayer. She enjoyed the sorrowful dilapidations, and the old fort still standing outside of town.

"I am not a ninny!"

She sat in the front room of Guillermo Lowe's house being attended to by his wife and some of the town ladies. The funeral was for Guillermo's father, William, down at the Cienega Ranch in neighboring Tumacacori.

"We were unexpectedly placed on a train," she continued. "And we were expelled forever from Mexico."

She squirmed.

"Sit still," Anna Berruel told her.

"I am."

"No, you are not."


"It doesn't hurt, Teresita."

"But it does!"

Anna waved her tweezers in Teresita's face.

"You have one eyebrow! A lady does not have one eyebrow!" The gathered women nodded and murmured. "Do you wish to be a lady or not?"

"If you wish to find a beau…" one of the women said, her voice trailing off.

"I do not want a boyfriend," Teresita claimed.

"Yes, you do," said Anna.

After a moment, Teresita said, "Yes, I do."

They all laughed.

"One brow, why, it's… wanton," Anna scolded.

¡Por Dios!

Teresita could not believe that after all she had been through, people were still trying to make her into a "lady."

"Go ahead," she said. "Pluck."

Shade did not cut the heat.

The reporter had once interviewed Wyatt Earp, and this Mexican's mustache reminded him of the great lawman's. Though Tomás was tall enough and sufficiently craggy, and though he was momentarily famous, such a crop on the Mexican's lip seemed a real fumadiddle to the kid. These greasers and their pretensions. He smiled and focused on his satchel, fetching out a set of pencils and a leather notebook.

Don Tomás lifted a glass of dark wine from the wooden table. The reporter's full glass remained untouched. One of the table's legs was short and was propped up by a flat stone. The men sat on two rickety chairs. Don Tomás rested his boots on a third. He sniffed the wine right before he sipped it. All pleasure, he believed, could and should be doubled.

"So," he said.

He placed the glass carefully on the purple ring it had left on the gray wood.

"You have come to hear the story of what has happened since we were escorted out of Mexico."

The reporter opened his notebook so it lay flat on the table. He raised his pencil. His green bowler hat profoundly offended Don Tomás. Tomás could not understand why Americanos didn't doff their hats when addressing a caballero in serious matters.

"I would very much appreciate whatever of your story you might wish to impart, Mr. Urrea," the reporter said. "You are, what, some kind of Spaniard? A conquistador?"

"My family is Basque, originally. But we have deep historical roots in the Visigoth invaders of Iberia—"

"Yes, yes. Very interesting. You were imprisoned by the Mexican government, correct? Would it be improper to term you an enemy of the state?"

Don Tomás tipped his head politely.

"As you wish," he intoned.

"Criminal charges, correct?"


"Might you be called a traitor, then?"

Slight cough.

If he had only seen Tomás riding his legendary stallions through Cabora, he would have known that Tomás's mildness was a harbinger of dreadful things, a sign that would have sent the vaqueros and ranch hands running. Tomás sipped his wine.

"I would like to hear about the Saint of Cabora. Your daughter."

In English, Tomás announced: "I know who is my daughter."


"Well what?"

"The"—he consulted his notes—"the 'most dangerous girl in Mexico.' That was according to Porfirio Díaz, the president of Mex—"

"Oye, cabrón," Tomás snapped, then switched back to English, which he thought was fluid and masterful. "Do you not think I know who is Porfirio Díaz?"

"Who Porfirio Díaz is," the younger man corrected. "Your English." The reporter smiled condescendingly. "A slight remediation, señor, for future reference."

Don Tomás turned his face to the young man with a small, skeletal smile.

"How kind," he breathed.

He was being ripped to pieces by the world, and nobody even noticed.

"So. As regards Señorita Urrea," the reporter continued in his schoolboy Spanish. The reporter pronounced it "seen-your-reeter." "Her mother is absent?"

"We do not speak of these things," Tomás muttered.

"She absconded, however."

Tomás adjusted his vest and his belt buckle and looked away. One shoulder shrugged.

"Is it true, what we hear about this healing business?"

"True?" said Tomás, considering it. "Define true."

"Is the Saint healing people, or do they only think they are being healed?"

"Ah," Tomás said. "Reality." He shrugged one shoulder again. Squeezed out a tiny reluctant laugh. He lifted his hands slightly. "I ask myself this every day."

"Do you have an opinion?"

"Yes," said Tomás, bored with this line of questioning. "I have several opinions. I manage to have an opinion almost every day."

The reporter crinkled his nose as if a bad smell had wafted in from the river.

"Opinions, then, about her being dangerous? If you will indulge me."

"We are in Arizona now," Tomás noted mildly. "Here, she is not so dangerous. Perhaps it is I who am the dangerous one."

The reporter chuckled.

Don Tomás lifted his glass.

"I said a funny?" he asked, reverting to English to show the kid he could.

These newspapers—all they wanted to write about was the Saint. The rural papers offered articles of faith, while the urban papers offered mockery. These incessant stories only fueled the madness. Even here, in this desert, eighty people a day could show up at any time demanding… miracles. Healings. Resurrections and blessings. Indians wanted to raid cities in her name. And the family's enemies, no doubt they were taking notice of this stream of mythmaking. The Great Depression of '93 was not helping either; the more desperate the pilgrims became, the more they scrambled after wonders. Trouble, trouble, trouble.

He slammed the glass on the table; the reporter jumped.

"The question is, do you intend to continue your outlaw ways here in the United States?"

"Ah, is this the question?"

A wasp buzzed around the table. It closed on the rim of Tomás's glass. It hovered and landed and tasted the wine.


"I prefer bees," Don Tomás said.

"Excuse me?"



"You are aware of bees?"

"Bees, señor?"

"Bees!" Tomás said. "Who do you think introduced domesticated bees to Sonora? I did! Who gave honey to Sonora? Me!"


  • 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
  • "Urrea delights in the texture of things. Turn-of-the-century America, particularly New York, comes alive at his fingertips: He sees both the silk and the mud... In imagining the story of his great-aunt Teresita, Urrea might have chosen to make her a hero; that would have been easier. What we get is more complicated, more modern... Hers is the story of what it means to have a gift, and how a talent can also be a burden."—Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
  • "Colorful [and] exuberant."—Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
  • "A magnificent work of literary alchemy, so masterfully infused with myth and history, you will feel these characters in your heart, your gut. You will grieve for their immortal souls."—Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • "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

On Sale
Nov 28, 2011
Page Count
496 pages

Luis Alberto Urrea

About the Author

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his landmark work of nonfiction The Devil’s Highway, now in its 30th paperback printing, Luis Alberto Urrea is the author of numerous other works of nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, including the national bestsellers The Hummingbird’s Daughter and The House of Broken Angels, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. A recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, among many other honors, he lives outside Chicago and teaches at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Learn more about this author