A magic realist twist
In her fantasy YA novels, Mexican American Guadalupe Garcia McCall explores family secrets, intergenerational trauma, love and identity issues
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Born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, and raised in Eagle Pass, Texas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall likes to “write stories about the complexities of our world and our place in it.” “When I write, I think about how important and valuable life and all of its experiences are, so I try to write stories that give meaning to those experiences,” she explains on her personal website.
Garcia McCall is the award-winning author of several young adult novels, some short stories for adults and many children’s poems. Her latest book, ‘Echoes of Grace’ (Tu Books) won this year’s Texas Institute of Letters (TIL), Best Young Adult Novel Award. The novel features Grace,a Mexican-American teenager that struggles to understand the echoes she inherited from her mother--visions which often distort her reality. One morning, as her sister, Mercy, rushes off to work, a disturbing echo takes hold of Grace, and within moments, tragedy strikes.
Attending community college for the first time, talking to the boy next door, and working toward her goals all help Grace recover, but her estrangement from Mercy takes a deep toll. And as Grace's echoes bring ghosts and premonitions, they also bring memories of when Grace fled to Mexico to the house of her maternal grandmother--a woman who Grace had been told died long ago.
In June 2023 Garcia Mc.Call will publish ‘Secret of the Moon Conch’, a sweeping fantasy romance that begins in modern-day Mexico, where Sitlali is all alone after the death of her beloved abuela. Targeted by a dangerous gang member, she flees to the United States to find her father. The night before her journey, she finds an ancient conch shell on the beach and takes it with her as a memento of home.
The conch will send her back to 1521 Mexico, where Calizto is trapped in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, which is besieged by Spanish invaders. He has fought valiantly, but hope for his people is running out. Desperate to escape, he takes up his mother's sacred conch and sounds a plea to the gods.
The conch holds magic neither Sitlali nor Calizto understand, magic that allows them to communicate across centuries--and find comfort in each other as they fight to survive. With each conversation, they fall deeper in love, and as the moon waxes, they become more present to each other.
An advocate for literacy, diverse books and the Own Voices movement, Garcia McCall has received the Prestigious Pura Belpre Award, among others. She is now a full-time author and part-time educator residing in San Antonio, TX.