ABOUT THIS BOOKWinner, 2022 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award (Autobiography/Memoir category)
With its roots in the Spanish verb querer—“to want, to love”—the term querencia has been called untranslatable but has come to mean a place of safety and belonging, that which we yearn for when we yearn for home. In this striking essay collection, Harrison Candelaria Fletcher shows that querencia is also a state of being: the peace that arises when we reconcile who we are. A New Mexican of mixed Latinx and white ethnicity, Candelaria Fletcher ventures into the fault lines of culture, landscape, and spirit to discover the source of his lifelong hauntings. Writing in the persona of coyote, New Mexican slang for “mixed,” he explores the hyphenated elements within himself, including his whiteness. Blending memory, imagination, form, and language, each essay spirals outward to investigate, accept, and embrace hybridity. Ultimately, Finding Querencia offers a new vocabulary of mixed-ness, a way to reconcile the crosscurrents of self and soul.