Photo on 10-4-18 at 12.57 PM

Very happy to announce that my fabulist, feminist, and darkly funny stories, Jillian in the Borderlands: A Cycle of Rather Dark Tales is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in October 2020. Here is a short excerpt from the book.

Please feel free to email me at


You can order directly from AUTUMN HOUSE PRESS.

In Tucson, you can order through ANTIGONE BOOKS.

In Bend, you can order through ROUNDABOUT BOOKSHOP.

You can also order directly from AMAZON.


Great review in New York Journal of Books by Melanie Bishop:

An excerpt: “Such scenes are abundant in this book, filled with beautiful human attempts to connect, to protect, to do right by our loved ones. In showing what the daughter is able to do for her grandmother, that the author cannot do, Alvarado pinpoints the grace, the benevolence afforded by that space, that skipped generation. For Kathryn, it’s easy to say, “I cherish you.” But because Kathryn is of Beth, and Beth is of her mother, they’re inextricably linked, and what Kathryn is able to say may as well be the words of her mother, because in the end, whose hand is this anyway?

“Alvarado includes the references to current events, politics, social issues, and science, not because she’s trying to make these personal essays about more than herself, but because they are about more than herself. Going from the intensely personal to the political, the social, the scientific, is what makes these essays universal. . .”

Another great review in High Desert Journal by Ellen Santasiero:

“In this collection, [Alvarado] puts before the reader 14 essays that span five decades of life and loss in the Sonoran borderlands and the Oregon high desert. 

“I love many things about the essays, but a few things stand out in particular. First, Alvarado’s frequent references to mystery, whether through folk tales, stories of otherworldliness, or, most especially, dreams. These mysteries and Alvarado’s imaginative engagement with them give her—and readers—a world full of meaning and redemption from and for a dangerous world that is never very far away.”

Another review I am grateful for in Entropy Magazine by Brigitte Lewis:

“Alvarado writes, ‘If I believe in your words, I believe in your reality, and it will become a part of mine, the cells in my brain imprinted, physically changed by what I’ve heard.’  This belief—that we are changed by words—is the nervous system that runs through the collection. It is not enough to simply record what has happened. It is not enough to simply read the experiences of one woman going through the ordinary devotions of raising children, caring for the sick and aging, and burying the dead. If we readers let ourselves, we will be changed by the words we have read, words that—through their mere attention—make sacred the mundane. If we readers let ourselves be, we will be changed for the better.”

Recently published &/or forthcoming:

“Playlist for Anxious Attachments,” Largehearted Boy, May 14, 2019.

“When Your Daughter Refuses to Be in Your Essay,” in LitHubMay 2019.

“In the Precarious City,” from Jillian in the Borderlands, in About Place Journal, May 2019.

“Die Die Die” in Terrain, Spring 2019.

“Ordinary Devotions” in Cimarron Review, Summer 2018.

“Los Perdidos” in River Teeth, Fall 2018.

“Cautionary Tales” in Louisville Review, Spring 2019.