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>> Luna's California Poppies

ISBN: 0-927534-98-3
284 pp. | paper | $14.00

fiction by Alma Luz Villanueva

In Luna's California Poppies a young girl tries to come to terms with an unstable family situation and a harsh environment. Taking the form of a diary, the novel is exceptional in the way it so vividly captures a street-wise twelve-year-old's voice. Luna is angry, despairing, joyful, aggressive, and admirable. Deserted by her mother, she is taken into the home of a kind stranger, who not only takes care of her physical needs for food, shelter, and security, but also encourages her to read, write, and study. In this new environment Luna records her struggles and triumphs as she becomes a young woman. In the second half of the book, an adult Luna takes up the diary when she and her family move to the country and face a new set of challenges. A mother now, Luna muses on her past while she and her children face an unexpected obstacle in their new home—bigotry.

Alma Luz Villanueva is the author of the award-winning novels The Ultraviolet Sky (1989 American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation) and Naked Ladies (1994 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award), both published by Bilingual Press. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches in the MFA program at Antioch University in Los Angeles.