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Extended Audio Sample Queen of America: A Novel Audiobook, by Luís Alberto Urrea Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (485 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Luís Alberto Urrea Narrator: Luís Alberto Urrea Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2011 ISBN: 9781611139877
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At turns heartbreaking, uplifting, fiercely romantic, and riotously funny, Queen of America tells the unforgettable story of a young woman coming of age and finding her place in a new world. Beginning where Luis Alberto Urrea’s bestselling The Hummingbird’s Daughter left off, Queen of America finds young Teresita Urrea, beloved healer and “Saint of Cabora,” with her father in 1892 Arizona. However, besieged by pilgrims in desperate need of her healing powers, and pursued by assassins, she has no choice but to flee the borderlands and embark on an extraordinary journey into the heart of turn-of-the-century America.

Teresita’s passage will take her to New York, San Francisco, and St. Louis, where she will encounter European royalty, Cuban poets, beauty queens, anxious immigrants, and grand tycoons—and among them, a man who will force Teresita to finally ask herself the ultimate question: is a saint allowed to fall in love?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “‘Who is more of an outlaw than a saint?’ one of Luis Urrea’s characters poses. The answer is this ferocious, ribald romance of the border. Jaunty, bawdy, gritty, sweet, Queen of America has a bottomless comic energy and a heart large enough to accept—even revel in—all of human folly.”

    Stewart O’Nan, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A magnificent work of literary alchemy, so masterfully infused with myth and history, you will feel these characters in your heart, your gut.”

    Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

  • “Enchanting…Fantastical…Urrea has stitched a seamless end to the saga.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Urrea delights in the texture of things. Turn-of-the-century America, particularly New York, comes alive at his fingertips: He sees both the silk and the mud…In imagining the story of his great-aunt Teresita, Urrea might have chosen to make her a hero; that would have been easier. What we get is more complicated, more modern…Hers is the story of what it means to have a gift, and how a talent can also be a burden.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Striking…[Urrea] deploy[s] the passion of a visionary, making music with his phrases, evoking a world in the ebullient manner of antique storytellers while employing effective modern narrative techniques…The novelist’s powers work their way in this entertaining and intelligent historical fiction, studded with delights, rich in image and metaphor, the voice strong and at the same time comforting as it creates a universe replete with a multiplicity of characters, complete in body and soul. And as in the best of fiction, though the novelist himself is not physically present, his voice speaks worlds.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • Queen of America is filled with wondrous, wide-eyed descriptions of life in the United States in the beginning of the twentieth century…At once magical and corporeal, grounding and transporting, Queen of America tells the compelling true story of a young woman caught between worlds.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Gritty, bold, and much-anticipated…Fiercely romantic and at times heartbreaking but also full of humor, Urrea’s latest novel blends fairy tale, Western adventure, folk tale, and historical drama…[a] magnificent, epic novel.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Terry Earley | 2/15/2014

    " Although I loved "The Hummingbird's Daughter", this followup just never grabbed me. It probably is just me. I did not get all the way through it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 2/6/2014

    " I *had* to read this; The Hummingbird's Daughter was one of the best books I've read and I couldn't miss the sequel. Like most sequels, it wasn't as magical as the original. And that's not really anyone's fault - this book is fiction but it's based on the real life of Teresa de Cabora, so it had to follow the path that she did. Teresita's life in America just wasn't as exciting as her life in Mexico. I'm not sure whether it's the change in countries or the social changes taking place at the time, but Teresa's life in America is filled with promises unfulfilled. She is misunderstood, used, and mistreated. I wanted so badly for her life to be lived under more positive circumstances, but the facts are the facts, and in many ways her life is better than that of many immigrants to the US in the early 20th century. The writing was just as good as the first book - I got lost in the world created by the author - and I would recommend it for the writing alone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Irina | 2/4/2014

    " I have not read The Hummingbird's Daughter. From the description of the book, I thought I was in for a very dramatic read. But it was not that at all. This is a very lush, quiet, and beautifully written novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ferris | 1/23/2014

    " This sequel to Urrea's "The Hummingbird's Daughter" is the continuation of events in the life of Santa Teresita, the healer. What are the roles for a saint in the modern world? How does a saint cope with the oppotunism all around her? Can a saint fall in love? Just a few of the intriguing issues addressed in this tale. Urrea is a genuinely tale spinner. His use of language is lyrical and his characters are memorable. I listened to Urrea's narration via audiobook, and his voice is almost hypnotic. Enjoy! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Cavosie | 1/23/2014

    " If I were to be an author, I would want to write like this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn Kopple | 1/15/2014

    " Enchanted by this latest from prize-winning author Luis Alberto Urrea. A marvel of a novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 1/12/2014

    " I thought the first book, The Hummingbirds Daughter, was better. I found myself picking it up randomly over a few weeks to finish it just because I don't like not finishing books. Didn't get any pleasure out of reading it, though the characters were very realistic and well-described. There just didn't seem to be a real storyline. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia | 1/4/2014

    " This sequel to the Hummingbird's Daughter continues in the magical realism sort of style. It finishes the story of Terisita as she grows up and struggles to figure out how to be a saint in a fallen world. Ultimately, being a mother may be close enough to sainthood to do. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gwen | 11/29/2013

    " Really enjoyed this. It made me nostalgic for the southwestern US, where most of it takes place. A magical conclusion to Teresita's story. Thanks to my good friend for giving it to me! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 11/18/2013

    " The second book about the Saint of Cabora. Luis alberto Urrea is related to her. Though it is fiction, it is accurate in time and history and perhaps in the life of Teresita. Read Hummingbird's Daughter first. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 11/6/2013

    " It was a little bit of a chore to finish this off. It was a sequel to Hummingbird's Daughter which I really enjoyed, but half way through I was beginning to be tired of the Saint of Cabora. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Irma Tijerina | 6/14/2013

    " Well worth the wait. Beautifully written, heartbreaking, humourous, romantic. Like a good hot cup of chocolate on a cold Sunday morning to be enjoyed slowly with no interruptions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stuart | 4/13/2013

    " Urrea picks up where he left off with 'Hummingbird's Daughter' and hits another home run. Que bueno! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wanda | 2/10/2013

    " Overall this book was over-hyped. There are flashes of gorgeous prose and brilliant writing. But it is too long and rambling, veering into magical realism at times. I felt cheated given the glowing reviews. Thank goodness it was a library loan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 10/4/2012

    " Really liked - 3 1/2 stars. Not as good as first book though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathann403 | 7/29/2012

    " Not as captivating as Hummingbird's Daughter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy Eaton | 6/21/2012

    " This was a great book, fun to read and full of interesting historical tidbits. Luis Urrea is so good at bringing his characters to life and inspiring love and interest. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rita | 3/17/2012

    " I loved Urrea's first book and read it twice. This one is boring and I can't get a sense of the main character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Priscille Chambost richman | 2/28/2012

    " Big fan of historical fiction, so this was definitely an interesting read. Fascinating that this lady seemed to have such a great healing power. Was she just a great calming influence, or was she really able to take away pain and heal? "

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About the Author

Luís Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss, and triumph. Winner of a Lannan Literary Award and Christopher Award, he is also the recipient of an American Book Award, the Kiriyama Prize, the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Literary Award, a Western States Book Award, a Colorado Book Award, an Edgar Award, and a citation of excellence from the American Library Association. He is a member of the Latino Literary Hall of Fame. Born in Tijuana, Mexico, to a Mexican father and an American mother, he has published extensively in all the major genres. The critically acclaimed and bestselling author of over a dozen books, he has won numerous awards for his poetry, fiction, and essays. After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, he moved to Boston, where he taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard. He has also taught at Massachusetts Bay Community College and the University of Colorado and was the writer in residence at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.