Ana Baca discovered a love for writing
at nine years old when she received a cherry red journal with lock and key from her
sister for Valentine’s Day. But it wasn’t until her father
passed away when she was twenty-one when she discovered that writing was much more than a way to entertain herself; there
were stories to be told that could honor his legacy, the legacy of her ancestors, and even to help preserve a cultural heritage.
It was at this difficult time that
she found solace in the stories and anecdotes her mother relayed of her own youth and family history. Ana wrote down her mother’s stories in a journal and years later they became the fodder for her first
novel, Mama Fela’s Girls.
Ana is a native of Albuquerque, born to a family with multi-generational ties to New
holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University
and a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico.
She works in PR, marketing and communications.
Girls (UNM Press, 2006)
Set in San Lucía,
a small town in northeastern New Mexico, at the height of the Great Depression,
Mama Fela’s Girls portrays three generations of strong women striving to pull themselves and their families through
difficult times. Mama Fela, a skilled seamstress and passionate herbalist, is
the aging matriarch of the Romero clan. Mama Fela’s six-year-old granddaughter
and constant companion, Cipriana, observes her own mother, Graciela, a teacher in the rural school system, juggling the roles
of wife, mother, and breadwinner. Cita, Cipriana’s young aunt, spends her
days mothering her neighbors and family members, but dreams of creative pursuits in a place and time where women are constrained
by traditional social norms.
Told through the
alternating voices of these four characters, Mama Fela’s Girls celebrates the culture of a small New Mexican
town, exploring the timeless issues of family ties, aging, loss, and finding an identity that defies the stereotypes of ethnicity,
class, and gender.
at its best introduces humankind to itself. Meet Mama Fela –wife, mother, grandmother, caught in a crossfire of time
and geography, a prism through which pass the many colors of Hispanic life in America.
Ana Baca’s compelling tale will draw you in until you, too, join the family.”—Jerry Spinelli, Newbery Medal-winning
author of Maniac Magee
(University of Houston, April 2007)
for Benito (University of Houston, 2003)
(University of Houston, 1999)
Borders and other local bookstores
Press (children’s books)