An Anthology of Short Works
By the Lake Chapala Women Writers
ISBN: 0-9675248-1-4
321 pages
First Edition, June 2005

Zofia D. Barisas, Nina Discombe, Judy Dykstra-Brown, Harriet Hart, dory jones, Teresa Kendrick, Gloria Marthai,, susan q. miller, Gloria Palazzo, Amelia Stevens

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Border Crossers Boundary Breakers

Agave Marias is an anthology of short works by ten Canadian and American authors who published under the name of the Lake Chapala Women Writers.

The 321-page paperback chronicles the topics they explored and embraced. The book's themes are organized into six sections: Fish Out of Water; Portraits: Family; Local Colour; In Full Bloom; The Blue Dog; and Baring Our Breasts. Throughout the pages of Agave Marias, readers will navigate issues of life in another culture, family bonds, Mexican portraits, sexuality, heartbreak, love, death, as well as the confessions, revelations, and insights of ten writers of a certain age.

The story behind the book is found in “The Delivery” by Harriet Hart. It wryly records the book's conception, gestation, and birth. The book's cover image, an acrylic by Ute Hagen, is a fusion of the group's spirit and energy. Designed by graphic artist Allan Turnipseed, who also created the book's section headings, the cover was considered too racy by an American literary publicist who warned the writers against using it. Not to be put off, the authors proceeded with a Mexican publisher and printed the book in Guadalajara .


A famous woman author once told me that I was the only man she knew who could fall in love with a woman simply through reading something she had written, simply through the way in which she used words. Ten lovely women wander through this book, Agave Marias, and they are ten women I could fall in love with because of their ability to link the world of words to the world of their own experience and sensibility. All of them have made long journeys in their lives, geographically and emotionally and spiritually, and in this collection we find various records of those journeys. In those records we also find compassion and intelligence, generosity and humour, and yes, perhaps the most important thing, love for whatever strange world in which they find themselves. ­ James Tipton, American Poet

The ten women represented here are border crossers and boundary breakers, crossing not just the hard borders of Mexico, Canada and the U.S. , but negotiating the softer boundary between fiction and non-fiction. Their work is accomplished and vigorous, while exposing the deliciously skewed vision of women of a certain age who have lived their lives with curiosity and boldness, while never losing touch with the most tender wonder. Sharon Butala, Canadian author


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