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Charlotte Zoe Walker
Author, Editor (anthology)
CONDOR AND HUMMINGBIRD
It is the summer of 1963, with stories of past political violence in Colombia and hints of the coming assassination of JFK in the United States. Laura, a young North American woman, visits Bogota with her Colombian husband Andres and their two small children, though strange, seemingly mystical messages have warned her not to. Conversations with her husband’s “mad” sister Francisca, and Señor Vargas, a revolutionary jewelry maker who lives in the dismal hotel run by Andres’s mother, help Laura come to grips with the problems of poverty and "lost children" in her husband’s country. Realizing how little she and Andres know one another, and how little she knows herself, Laura builds an alliance with Francisca to rescue the tiny, bird-like Carmen, a dwarfed servant child, one of Colombia's lost children. But “La Violencia” is not yet ended. In a tale of dramatic change and shocking discovery, Condor and Hummingbird explores both social and psychological issues, while it also looks back to the wisdom of ancient myths, and Francisca’s beloved “ancestors”-- the elusive Kogi of Santa Marta, who long ago retreated high into the Sierra to preserve their culture from the Spanish conquest. Alice Walker called Condor and Hummingbird “a passionate and compelling novel about a woman’s discovery that the most foreign country is within.”

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