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Summer Beam Books

The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island Contributor(s): Alcalá, Kathleen (Author)

The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island Contributor(s): Alcalá, Kathleen (Author)

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The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island
Contributor(s): Alcalá, Kathleen (Author)

ISBN: 0295999705    EAN: 9780295999708
US SRP: $24.95 US
Binding: Paperback
Pub Date: January 17, 2019
Physical Info: 1.0" H x 8.2" L x 5.1" W (0.8 lbs) 360 pages
As friends began "going back to the land" at the same time that a health issue emerged, Kathleen Alcalá set out to reexamine her relationship with food at the most local level. Remembering her parents, Mexican immigrants who grew up during the Depression, and the memory of planting, growing, and harvesting fresh food with them as a child, she decided to explore the history of the Pacific Northwest island she calls home.

In The Deepest Roots, Alcalá walks, wades, picks, pokes, digs, cooks, and cans, getting to know her neighbors on a much deeper level. Wanting to better understand how we once fed ourselves, and acknowledging that there may be a future in which we could need to do so again, she meets those who experienced the Japanese American internment during World War II, and learns the unique histories of the blended Filipino and Native American community, the fishing practices of the descendants of Croatian immigrants, and the Suquamish elder who shares with her the food legacy of the island itself.

Combining memoir, historical records, and a blueprint for sustainability, The Deepest Roots shows us how an island population can mature into responsible food stewards and reminds us that innovation, adaptation, diversity, and common sense will help us make wise decisions about our future. And along the way, we learn how food is intertwined with our present but offers a path to a better understanding of the future.
Kathleen Alcalá is the author of a collection of short stories from Calyx Books, three novels set in Nineteenth Century Mexico from Chronicle Books, and a collection of essays from the University of Arizona Press. Her work has received the Western States Book Award, two Artist Trust Fellowships, and other recognitions. Kathleen teaches creative writing at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island. She holds degrees from Stanford University, the University of Washington, and the University of New Orleans. Her parents were born in Mexico, and she was born in Compton, California. Bainbridge Island has been her home for the last twenty years.

"The issues Alcalá explores are relevant beyond Bainbridge's boundaries, . . . from the meaning of a homeland to the questions of who has power in the modern world and who has responsibility. . . . The stories have the effect of coming to the reader as they came to the writer, raising as many difficult questions as they answer."

--Rebekah Denn "Seattle Times"

"This unique and fascinating memoir blends the history of Washington with the story of her family's migration from Mexico, highlighted by informed insights on ecology, economy and gastronomy."

--Rigoberto González "NBC News Latino
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