Southwest Book Reviews


Oct 12, 2011

When Beth Alvarado was a child in the Fifties, her parents moved to Grand Junction, Colorado at the time, a uranium hotbed. They came with a proud legacy: They were from a line of people who had seized opportunity and done well.

The family roots are pre-Revolutionary War. One grandmother had been a Mormon pioneer, another, a store-bought bride. A gambling grandfather won a handsome family home in Hayward, California. Through the generations, gambling and hard work had paid off. By the 1950's, the family was upper class, propertied and educated.

The Lonely Polygamist

Jun 21, 2011

Angle of Repose

May 17, 2011

Flagstaff, AZ – In 1932, Eleanor Roosevelt was working hard to get Franklin elected president. She was hoping for an early endorsement from Arizona. She wrote her friend Isabella Greenway, who was on the verge of being elected Arizona's first congresswoman. But Isabella advised soft-pedaling. Her instincts were sound. FDR carried Arizona, but the delegates emerged from community efforts not a hard push from the national organization.

Flood Song

Feb 25, 2011

Cheyenne Madonna

Jan 20, 2011

Occasionally a short story writer comes along whose stories are as roomy and absorbing as good novels. Eddie Chuculate is such a writer. In each of the seven stories in his wonderful premier book, "Cheyenne Madonna," Chuculate treats us to seductive, ornery, winsome characters muddling along in the messy business of living.

This year, I've asked two friends to join me in reviewing our holiday picks. Both Isabella Berglund Brown and Valerie Schlosberg are eighth graders at Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff.

We'll start out with Isabell's review of "A Boy Named Beckoning," by Gina Capaldi.

My dad was once given a peculiar assignment. He was working for the VCA the Vanadium Corporation of America in Durango, Colorado. The VCA had been mining and milling uranium in Colorado, Utah, and throughout the Navajo Nation since the late 30s. In 1962, they shut down the Durango mill and transferred my father to the reservation. They were leaving a huge pile of tailings nestled against Smelter Mountain right by the Animas River. For years, Durangoans had complained about the fine pink and many thought radioactive sand that blew over the town.