By Hannah Evans
In The Denver North Star’s first issue, I reviewed Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s short story collection “Sabrina & Corina,” a beautiful selection of fiction featuring vibrant female characters and their ties and relationships to Denver and surrounding areas of Colorado.
This month, I thought it was only appropriate to feature Fajardo-Anstine’s new release, her captivating novel “Woman of Light” (2022, One World). “Woman of Light” is the story of Luz, a young tea leaf reader in Denver during the 1930s.
After her brother is chased out of town by an angry white mob, Luz, whose indigenous roots tie back to the nearby land for generations, must rely on her resourcefulness and the support of her tight-knit family and community to navigate a city rife with inequality and racial tension.
As her personal story and its challenges unfolds, Luz also receives increasingly clearer visions of her ancestors’ past and the stories that have led to who she is and where she resides. Fajardo-Anstine describes unforgettable characters in Luz and her surrounding family, but she also shares a powerful sense of place in her writing.
Countless details and descriptions bring to life a Denver that fans of the city’s history will instantly recognize, from the dead buried under Cheesman Park to the presence of St. Cajetan Church to the street names and locations throughout the Westside and downtown.
If you enjoyed “Sabrina & Corina,” you’ll find the same profound writing exploring the Denver and the Colorado both of the present and of generations past in Luz’s story. If you have not yet read any of Fajardo-Anstine’s work, do yourself the favor of discovering one of Denver’s most talented up-and-coming authors who grants her readers an unparalleled perspective of the city.
Check out “Woman of Light” at your closest Denver Public Library location or as an e-bookor e-audiobook on denverlibrary.org.
Denver Days returns to Smiley Branch Library
After the closure and pause in events for the past two years due to COVID-19 and a renovation, Denver Public Library’s Smiley Branch is excited to host an Ice Cream Social celebrating Denver Days!
Stop by from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, to enjoy ice cream, games, and fun for all ages! Smiley is located on Berkeley Lake Park at 4501 W. 46th Ave.
Hannah Evans is the senior librarian at the Smiley Branch of the Denver Public Library.