David Bowles discusses his new book Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: The Origin Myths of Mexico

Tues 7/17 7pm

David Bowles discusses his new book Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: The Origin Myths of Mexico, a contemporary retelling of the origin myths of Mexico, crafted as a single concrete narrative.

The stories in Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky trace the history of the world from its beginnings in the dreams of the dual god Ometeotl, to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Mexico and the fall of the great city Tenochtitlan. In the course of that history we learn about the Creator Twins, Feathered Serpent, and Dark Heart of Sky, and how they built the world on a leviathan’s back; of the shape-shifting nahualli; and the aluxes—elfish beings known to help out the occasional wanderer. And finally, we read Aztec tales about the arrival of the blonde strangers from across the sea, the strangers who seek to upend the rule of Motecuhzoma and destroy the very stories we are reading.

David Bowles stitches together the fragmented mythology of pre-Colombian Mexico into an exciting, unified narrative in the tradition of William Buck’s Ramayana, Robert Fagles’ Iliad, and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Myths. Readers of Norse and Greek mythologies will delight in this rich retelling of stories less explored.

“Legends and myths captured David Bowles’ imagination as a young Latino reader. He was fascinated with epics like the Iliad and the Odyssey. Despite growing up on the United States/Mexico border, he had never read a single Aztec or Mayan myth until he was in college. This experience inspired him to reconnect with that forgotten past. Several of his previous books have incorporated themes from ancient Mexican myths.” -- World Literature Today

“A masterful storyteller, Bowles packs the richness of the Mesoamerican cosmos into every sentence, bringing to vivid life ancient characters who are by turns funny, heartbreaking, lovable, grotesque, and venerable. … Bowles’s Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky will be crucial to Mesoamerican literary and cultural studies as well as important to Mexican and Mexican American rediscoveries of effaced pasts for many years to come. Scholars and readers of mythology and folklore: add this to the classics.” - Sean Guynes-Vishniac, Michigan State University

"Mexican-American Pura Belpré honoree David Bowles brings his passion and expertise to this new compilation of mythological tales from Mexico ... Despite the darkness that pervades most of the tales, Bowles' dense yet lyrical prose raises the narrative to a level suited to high mythological tradition and illuminates the foundations on which contemporary Mexican culture is laid."  --Kirkus Reviews

A Mexican-American author from deep South Texas, David Bowles is an assistant professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Recipient of awards from the American Library Association, Texas Institute of Letters and Texas Associated Press, he has written several titles, including the Pura Belpré Honor Book The Smoking Mirror and Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico. His YA graphic novel Clockwork Curandera, illustrated by Raúl the Third, will be published in 2019. He is currently co-authoring a middle-grade adventure book with Adam Gidwitz.

 

 

Event date: 
Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781941026724
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Cinco Puntos Press - January 30th, 2018

Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781941026717
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Cinco Puntos Press - January 30th, 2018