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Cover by Claiborne O'Connor
Trade paper -- 160 pp.
ISBN-10:  0-938513-27-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-938513-27-8

$12.00 $7.99

New Mexico Stories, Then & Now
by Adela Amador

Full of anecdotes in the style of the Spanish cuento, this book celebrates permanence, and change, and casts light on the lives of the varied peoples of New Mexico over many decades. Beneath a placid-seeming surface, deep Undercurrents are flowing. Gardens, mountains, deserts, caverns, brujerias, fears, dreams, children's games, good food, sharing, anger, pain and wisdom: all these and more are here.

"Escribe con el corazon en el punto de la pluma"
[She writes with her heart on the point of her pen].
--Jorge Gabaldo, Palm Springs, CA

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"Back to the future. I was taken on a poignant, nostalgic and wonderful voyage, back into the barrio that nurtured me. Thanks, Adela."
-- Jose, Armas, Ph.D., syndicated columnist
Too many of us rush through life. We never stop to savor the moment, to ponder the lessons of the past or to consider where we're heading as we hurry from one appointment to the next. With disarming simplicity that masks a true depth of perception, Adela Amador reaches beyond the glib and the superficial to tap those deeper veins that give meaning to life. She's a natural-born storyteller, always sharply observant and inherently trustworthy, someone who can laugh at human foibles without demeaning anyone.

I'm glad we dragged her out of her beloved kitchen long enough to cast light on New Mexico and all those aspects of our culture and environment that make this such an inspiring place to live. Her "Southwest Flavor" column consistently draws more fan mail than any other department in New Mexico Magazine. Readers first turned to the column for Adela's recipes, but soon they discovered she could write just as well as she could cook. What perfect ingredients for creative success, magically distilled in these heartfelt essays!

-- Jon Bowman, Editor, New Mexico Magazine
Nostalgic, modern, sad, happy, funny -- these tales are of memory, remembrance, vitality and change. There are undercurrents, however; not all the memories are glad ones. Life was sometimes hard when Adela was growing up, but she was not one to stay behind and mope; she was far too busy for that. As she says, "We don't need to live in the past, but we need to nourish ourselves with past joys and life's richness." And so it is in this book: family, memories and culture form the background for these stories, yet contemporary life is present too. All in all a look into Adela's kitchen, and her heart.
-- Dr. Tey Diana Rebolledo
Professor of Spanish, Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese
University of New Mexico
Adela Amador's collection of stories and reminiscences is a delight. Both a participant in and a sensitive observer of the transition of Hispanic life in New Mexico between the pre- and post-World War II years, the author makes readers feel that they too are caught up in the Undercurrents that affected her people. Written in a deceptively simple but charming style, each story is told with a gamut of emotions ranging from joy to sorrow, from deep nostalgia to upbeat acceptance of present- day conditions. A charming narrative style adds zest and flavor the her journey of "Memories, Dreams, Reflections," as the first and last chapters are entitled.
-- Dr. Tim MacCurdy, Professor Emeritus of Spanish
University of New Mexico
Adela Amador's collection of reminiscences and tales lovingly evokes a variety of New Mexico characters, ages 8 to 80. Her intimate feel for the land, and for everyday family life, is likewise beautifully conveyed. Whether her chosen subject be a childhood amid tall flowers or girls picking pinon nuts, the ways in which little kids can hurt each other or marriages go wrong, one is ever conscious of her unmistakable voice: wistful, bittersweet, nostalgic -- yet also wise. Her side trips to Mayan ruins and to the caves at Carlsbad and Altamira further enrich this store of human experiences. And of course, we can directly savor the accounts of Adela's special and most exquisite craft: FOOD! I highly recommend Undercurrents.
-- Dr. Gene H. Bell-Villada
Professor of Modern Languages, Williams College, MA

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