Ilana Maletz is an author, who has published her first novel, Cha’risa’s Gift. She is currently at work on a companion novel called Ahote’s Path. The story about Cha’risa first took shape six years ago, when she left city life behind and found herself enveloped in the wide open spaces of Northern Arizona. Every day, she would walk out the door with her dog, Lucy, and enter into a landscape of towering red rocks and box canyons, dotted with the fresh green of scrubby pine and juniper. It amazed Ilana, how she and Lucy could walk for miles and not see a single person. Out in that wilderness they relied on each other to find the paths, steer clear of snakes, and to chase off the roving packs of coyotes. Together they spotted elk, deer, jackrabbits, and all manner of birds and lizards. All the while, Ilana would wonder about those who may have walked these paths before her. Cha’risa’s Gift was Ilana’s way of trying to share with others something of what it feels like to be immersed in the magical beauty and wildness that is Northern Arizona.
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by Ilana Maletz
Cha’risa, a Hopi medicine woman with powerful healing gifts, begins a journey to help save her son, who now questions his traditional beliefs and culture. He has decided to work on a ranch just outside of Flagstaff. Not wanting to leave her son alone in an uncertain world, Cha’risa accompanies him, never realizing how profoundly this decision will impact her family for generations to come.
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