trace elements of random tea parties


“Highly recommended.”
Library Journal

“Bursting at the seams with pizzazz and invention.”
The San Francisco Chronicle

“Edgy, exuberant…sure to attract readers searching for something urban, lively, and a bit different.”
Publishers Weekly

“Engagingly told…this tale will charm and earn this first-time author a following.”

“A spry debut from a writer who’s got the skills.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Offers deep insights into familia and cultura without an ounce of heavy-handedness.”

“An edgy and risky debut that leaps over clichés and lands in the center of the modern-day intricacies of a new generation.”
El Paso Times

Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties is both outrageous and glorious. It’s a wild ride that’s worth every damn cent you spent for the ticket!”
-Helena María Viramontes, author of The Moths and Other Stories

“Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties is a well-crafted and very refreshing debut novel, a welcome contribution to Chicana letters from the new generation.”
-Ana Castillo, author of The Mixquiahuala Letters


“Buckle up, doll. I promise I’ll try not to tangle your quinceñaera dress.”

So begins the adventure of Leticia Marisol Estrella Torrez, who moves north to Los Angeles in an attempt to break from her past: from starched dresses and sleek, tight braids, from Nana, the traditional grandmother who raised her, and from Weeping Woman, the siren of Mexican folklore who flies through night skies to steal troublesome children and who embodies, in many ways, Leti’s first love. As Leti immerses herself in L.A.’s post-punk, post-queer hipster scene, navigating the twisting road of her own shifting gender and falling deep into “papaya lush blush” love, she rediscovers the strength and meaning of familia. A striking debut novel, Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties turns tradition on its head while laying flowers at its feet.

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003; Seal Press, 2004)

Astraea Foundation, Honorable Mention in Fiction

*buy the book*