June 27, 2022
"Spirit Run" Author Noé Álvarez (Online)
Monday, June 27, 2022
An online talk and Q&A with Noé Alvarez, author of the bestselling “Spirit Run."
In advance of the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, join us for an online talk and Q&A with Noé Álvarez, author of the acclaimed memoir “Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land.” Álvarez will discuss this amazing journey as well as the experience of writing a NY Times Editors' Choice and bestseller. Watch live or later at https://bit.ly/EugSpiritRunTalk
The library will also host book groups about "Spirit Run" in advance of this talk. Sign up to participate in an online or in-person book group; participants get a free copy of the book to keep.
Or enjoy the book free with your library card in print or online: find it here or here.
About the book and the author: Growing up in Yakima, Washington, Noé Álvarez worked at an apple–packing plant alongside his mother. A university scholarship offered escape, but as a first-generation Latino college student, Álvarez struggled to fit in.
At nineteen, he learned about a Native American/First Nations movement called the Peace and Dignity Journeys, epic marathons meant to renew cultural connections across North America. He dropped out of school and joined a group of Dene´, Secwe´pemc, Gitxsan, Dakelh, Apache, Tohono O’odham, Seri, Pure´pecha, and Maya runners, all fleeing difficult beginnings.
Telling their stories alongside his own, Álvarez wrote about a four-month journey from Canada to Guatemala that pushed him to his limits. He details not only the challenges of overcoming hunger, thirst, and fear -- dangers included stone–throwing motorists, and a mountain lion -- but also of asserting Indigenous and working–class humanity in a capitalist society where oil extraction, deforestation, and substance abuse wreck communities.
Running through mountains, deserts, and cities, including through the Mexican territory his parents left behind, Álvarez forged a new relationship with the land, and with the act of running, carrying with him the knowledge of his parents’ migration, and -- against all odds in a society that exploits his body and rejects his spirit -- the dream of a liberated future.