A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.
Why do we die? Why can’t we live forever? What happens to us after death? Moving between science and culture, After Life: Ways We Think About Death takes a straightforward look at these and other questions long taboo in our society. By showing the fascinating, diverse ways in which we understand death, both today and throughout our history, the book also shines a light on what it is to be human. Each chapter includes a brief telling of a death legend, myth or history from a different culture or tradition, from Adam and Eve to Wolf and Coyote, and ends with a section on a common theme in our thinking about death, such as rivers and birds in the afterlife, the colors that different cultures use to symbolize death, and, of course, ghosts. The final chapter is about grief, which is both a universal human experience and unique to each person. The text offers suggestions for ways to think about our grief, when to ask for help and how to talk to friends who are grieving.
These timeless tales of gods and heroes give us a window into the beliefs, values, and practices of people who lived long ago.
Miguel, the middle child of the Chavez family, lives near Taos, New Mexico, and longs to go with the men of his family to the Sangre de Christo Mountains.
When the Spanish viceroy comes for an unscheduled visit to the monastery, the cook goes into a frenzy. What will they feed this important ambassador to the king? Carlos, the orphan boy who works in the kitchen, tries to stay out of the way as lunch is hastily prepared, but his curiosity gets the best of him. His eagerness results in a moment of crisis, followed by what Brother Roberto can only assume is a miracle. This story, inspired by the Mexican folk tradition, explains the origins of mole, the popular national dish that combines chocolate with turkey, spices, and nuts.