Alma Luz Villanueva


"The provocative title takes its name from a type of wild flowers called Naked Ladies...But there are enough racy scenes for the reader who may judge the book by the cover alone. In the novel, Villanueva explores a variety of relationships: interracial, heterosexual, homosexual. She approaches each with sensitivity and passion....One of the most inspiring elements of this novel is the wonderful portrayal of strong women. There is Katie, who wins the struggle for her purse, but loses a harrowing battle against breast cancer. There is Jade, an Asian-American teacher who must deal with harassment by a couple of lowlifes. And there is Alta, always struggling to improve her situation and to be there for her friends....Despite the teen-age pregnancy that forced her to marry Hugh, Alta goes back to school part time and ultimately gets her master's degree. She becomes a counselor and falls in love with a colleague, Michael, an African-American man.... Michael is struggling with a history of racism and rage, but together he and Alta discover that, through love, they can move past the boundaries of ignorance and prejudice. Michael and Alta learn that although you cannot change the world, you can change the way you live in the world. And sometimes that is the most courageous act of all."
--Veronica Chambers, Los Angeles Times, March 3, 1994.

Selected Works

Novel/poetry, The Twins
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"Written with the urgency of dreams and the courage to face whatever life brings, the poems in SOFT CHAOS cast a spell that chants mystery back into our world, revealing the fierce and tender love that has always been here. To open this book is to enter a vision where even the dust is sacred, where life's endless spiral of beauty and wonder dances in your bones, dances against the forces that would tear them to pieces, dances la vida, and survives." Peter Levitt, author of WITHIN WITHIN.
"The poetry of Alma Luz Villanueva, like her prose, is drawn from the gut, her womb, and a vital point in an intelligent woman's mind. She always speaks from the heart. She delivers to the reader the offerings of a whole human being. She sings, she rages, she lets us know that above all, the poet is a mirror to our own inner triumphs and failures." Ana Castillo, author of SO FAR FROM GOD
"This riveting volume full of lingering images and provocative, personal and political moments opens my heart and aligns me with the powerful feminine forces that continue to surge through Ms. Villanueva's writing. Her transformational journey becomes my journey. She speaks from the heart and reaches the heart." Burleigh Muten, author of RETURN OF THE GREAT GODDESS
"What I still most enjoy about Villanueva's poetry, aside from the strength of her images and the way they convey her inner life, is her voice. That voice is confident, direct, unflinching, intimate." Marie-Elise Wheatwind, from The Women's Review of Books, May 1994.
Fiction, short story collection
"LA LLORONA, the weeping woman, walks through the pages of this book as a spirit guide, someone unto whom other's sorrows flow...Villanueva shows the power of the human spirit in this disturbing and beautiful book." Library Journal, March 1, 1994.
"Villanueva's ultraviolet sky is overhead for all of us."
--Kathryn Trueblood, The Before Columbus Foundation Fiction Anthology.
"One of the most inspiring elements of this novel is the wonderful portrayal of strong women."
--Veronica Chambers, Los Angeles Times, 1994.
"Holden Caulfied meets Anne Frank in this compelling coming-of-age novel."
--Library Journal, May 2002