On February 4, VAO Publishing released Donna Hooks Fletcher: Life and Writings, a fascinating glimpse inside a truly unique pioneer woman. Following is the preface, penned by the editor.
MANY REMARKABLE men and women have made the Río Grande Valley their home over the years: the indigenous Coahuiltecan tribes which hunted and fished along the sacred sliver of water; the Spanish settlers who hoped for glory, gold or God and whose culture flavors our own; and the Americans driven by expansionist vision to push ever farther into the wilderness, risking much. All of them came to a largely inhospitable region, and over the centuries made it a garden, a monument to humanity’s ability to remake the world.
Donna Hooks Fletcher stands out even among these venerable individuals as bridging their often conflicting visions of the world. As a divorcée, she flouted the norms of her time. She was a pioneer and entrepreneur who carved out a piece of the scrub and crafted multiple successful businesses. But she was also a woman of great compassion and charity, who stretched forth a helping hand to others in her community. And like the Native Americans whose lands these were for millennia before us, she felt a great unity with the sacred and sought to teach others to find the divine within themselves and the world.
Within these pages you will discover her voice: clear, unaffected, confident. She faced the world in all its immensity and was not daunted. We can only hope to do the same.
21 January, 2012