Connecting Latinas All Over the World through Literature

August: Cecilia Velástegui

August 2017    Book of the Month

Lucia Zarate by Cecilia Velástegui

Published by: Libros Publishing

ISBN-10: 0990671380
ISBN-13: 978-0990671381



Lucia Zárate is based on the poignant, real-life odyssey of the world’s smallest woman. Pretty and gregarious, Lucia Zárate was just twenty inches tall. A celebrity after her ‘display’ at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial International Exhibition, Lucia’s extraordinary, heartbreaking story is one of exploitation by greedy sideshow hucksters and a fishbowl existence on the road, from New York to Victorian London. We follow the adventures of diminutive Lucia Zárate and her devoted governess as they grapple with life and death, finding joy and adventure in their bumpy sideshow journey of more than fourteen years. This is an artfully balanced novel that is a mesmerizing tale of survival, resilience, and the uplifting force of friendship.



Cecilia Velástegui was born high up in the Andes mountains in Quito, Ecuador, where she spent her childhood. Although she now lives at sea level in Monarch Beach, California, she still has two friendly alpacas, Tupac and Khipu. Cecilia was raised in California and France, and has traveled extensively to more than 70 countries. She received her graduate degree from the University of Southern California, and speaks four languages. Cecilia received First Place from the International Latino Book Awards for her novels, Missing in Machu Picchu (2013) and Traces of Bliss (2012.) Her children’s bilingual books Olinguito Speaks Up (2013) and Howl of the Mission Owl (2014) were selected to the National Latino Book Club.


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