October 24, 2002

In Her Words

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In 2001, Summer Wood’s Arroyo was published to critical acclaim. With a voice that is equal parts grit and grace, Wood tells the story of Willie Lee Woolston, a blues singer who has seen her better days. Set in the fictional town of Los Fuegos, New Mexico, Wood’s story is told in a voice that’s exacting and deft. The author pays particular attention to the physical realm of the novel. From the brilliant first pages (which are nothing short of a Steinbeckian introduction) to the keen characterization of Willie Lee, Wood offers up a story that is rare in modern fiction. Raw, original, and vernacular, Arroyo is sand and cigarette ash, tears and flash floods that cut through the gullies for which the novel is named.

Wood, who will be reading at the ABC Caf