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EVENT LINK: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/miracle-country
Kendra Atleework grew up in Swall Meadows, in the Owens Valley of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, where annual rainfall averages five inches and in drought years measures closer to zero. Kendra's parents taught their children to thrive in this beautiful, if harsh, landscape, prone to wildfires, blizzards, and gale-force winds. Above all, they were raised on unconditional love and delight in the natural world. After Kendra's mother died of a rare autoimmune disease when Kendra was just sixteen, however, her once beloved desert world came to feel empty and hostile, as climate change, drought, and wildfires intensified. The Atleework family fell apart, even as her father tried to keep them together. Kendra escaped to Los Angeles, and then Minneapolis, land of tall trees, full lakes, water everywhere you look. But after years of avoiding her troubled hometown, she realized that she needed to come to terms with its past and present and had to go back. Miracle Country is a moving and unforgettable memoir of flight and return, emptiness and bounty, the realities of a harsh and changing climate, and the true meaning of home. For readers of Cheryl Strayed, Terry Tempest Williams, and Rebecca Solnit, this is a breathtaking debut by a remarkable writer. (Algonquin Books)
Kendra Atleework was born and raised on the dry edge of California at the eastern base of the Sierra Nevada mountains. She moved away for eleven years, mostly spent being homesick and researching the place she left behind—the product of which is Miracle Country. She serves on the board of the Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers and lives in her hometown of Bishop, California.
Luis Alberto Urrea is the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 17 books, winning numerous awards (including an Edgar, Lannan Literary Award and a Pulitzer among others) for his poetry, fiction and essay. He has been hailed by NPR as a “literary badass” and a “master storyteller with a rock and roll heart,” Luis Alberto Urrea is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. Urrea attended the University of California at San Diego, earning an undergraduate degree in writing, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, Urrea moved to Boston where he taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard. He also taught at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, IL, where he is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.