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“Woman of Light,” by Kali Fajardo-Anstine is a historical novel set in the 1930s in Denver and southern Colorado that traces five generations of an Indigenous Chicano and Chicana family.

Colorado Mountain College (CMC) has announced its 16th annual “Common Reader” book selection, the novel “Women of Light”, by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, a Colorado native and National Book Award finalist.

The book is particularly appropriate given CMC’s recent designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution where Latino and Hispanic student enrollment is 29 percent. The book is being offered to the public in both English and Spanish versions.

According to the press release, the book is set in the 1930s in Denver and southern Colorado, Fajardo-Anstine’s fictionalized historical epic traces five generations of a Chicano and Chicana family.

It follows the story’s heroine Luz Lopez as she traces her family’s history in this multigenerational western saga, meeting fantastical and memorable characters along the way as Lopez’s Indigenous ancestors emerge.

A Common Reader Community and Meet the Author Events

Kali Fajardo-Anstine is the author of the national bestseller, “Woman of
Light,” the 2023 CMC Common Reader book selection. Photo by Bear Gutierrez

The college’s Common Reader brings together students, faculty, staff and community members to read a selected book together and to participate in talks with the author.

With more than month before the scheduled author talks, there’s time to obtain the book, and better still, gather a few friends to share initial impressions and draft some questions for the author. Local bookstores are ready to help with an order and an inter-library loan is another option.

Fajardo-Anstine will give author talks at four CMC campuses at 7:00 p.m. in March: at CMC Breckenridge on March 27; at CMC Leadville on March 28; at Morgridge Commons in Glenwood Springs on March 29; and at CMC Vail Valley at Edwards on March 30. The talks on March 27 and March 29 will be streamed live through the college’s Common Reader webpage.

About the Author

In addition to “Woman of Light,” Fajardo-Anstine is the author of “Sabrina & Corina,” an award-winning collection of short stories. She has received multiple awards for her work, including the American Book Award, and has been nominated for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize. She is currently the Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University.