by Emi Wright
978-1-948692-40-3 paper 19.95
978-1-948692-41-0 ebook 9.99
5.5 X 8.5, 268 pp.
Alegría is the story of a dysfunctional family with a narcoleptic child who talks to ghosts. It is magical realism in the finest tradition of that style. Alegría’s family struggles to keep afloat amid secrets as she develops narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder that disrupts her nights and dulls her days. In a fantastical world where dead grandmothers come to visit and witch doctors prescribe waking concoctions, young Alegría discovers the secrets behind her namesake and the imperfections within her family. When the wind blows and the rains come, will she be able to keep her family together?
Emi Wright is a graduate of Michael Gills’ Novel Writing Workshop which is taught at the University of Utah.
A powerful and impassioned novel based out of hope, loss, and of finding one’s place in the world. Through breathtaking descriptions and elegant prose, Alegría shows a girl’s mystical journey through its enchanting moves, and it’s graceful telling of life’s search for faith, acceptance, and clarity.”
—Jasmine Robinson, author of Stony the Road we Trod
Drenched in the witchdoctor mojo of the world she’s conjured, Wright’s Alegría is the hundred-year dream-flood of a lifetime. Where daughters are named for their mother’s drowned sisters, and ghosts walk hand in hand with the living, as fine a debut as you’ll ever see. Bravo.”
—Michael Gills, author of Finisterre, West, and Emergency Instructions
Alegría tells the tale of a village separated into two sectors by a civil war as told through the eyes of an extended family residing in one of the sectors. Alegria’s role is highlighted when she begins to display extraordinary powers that allow her to communicate with her deceased grandmother. Danger and loss ensue when buried family history is disclosed and Alegria begins to inhabit a world that is now not only filled with beauty, but terrible danger, confusion, and sadness. The carefully drawn characters and the world they inhabit are memorialized with intriguing imagery and language that unearths the discovery of secrets and explores loss and healing and how they both intersect in Alegria’s young life. Reminiscent of The House On Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros, Alegria explores the roles of the adults in her life, and the special bonds between members of a family.
—Francine Rodriguez, author of A Woman’s Story
We adore this story of a fractured family within a fractured society. It is YA magical realism from a fresh new voice. There’s a protagonist we love and worry about, and a jealous older sister we can empathize with though we wish we could get her attention and straighten her out.
I loved this book! The author did a wonderful job with character building and writing about the cultures. I sympathized with the characters and loved the spooky feeling, although it did not overpower the deeper story within the book.