SEARCHING FOR FIFTH MESA
A Novella of the American Southwest
By Juana Foust
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In a compelling quest for the secrets of the Fifth Mesa, Leaf Marie McIntosh journeys in tandem through her beloved New Mexico homeland and the saga of her youth. Travelling on foot with sublime purpose, she wraps herself in the rare landscape that is her path, absorbing minutiae as one weaves fine threads into a blanket. With the same savor of detail she relives days as antique and curious as the ghost towns she haunts. Her journey begins sometime in the early 1900s and soon all sense of time fades as the story paints a map of New Mexico and the shifting strata of the past. Searching for Fifth Mesa marks a fascinating approach to historical writing which breathes into the story mystical elements that give it special life.
Juana Foust grew up on the plains of New Mexico and attended high school at Tucumcari and Clovis. When she was a child, her parents, Joseph and Stella Avant, moved their family into a section of eastern New Mexico that had been opened for homesteading and filed a claim for 160 acres north of Melrose in Quay County. Here Juana became fascinated by the vast outreach of the plains and the far distant blue plateaus. As she grew older and began to write, the charm of the Southwest took hold and she produced her first book, Prairie Chronicle, published by Putnam. Various career pursuits have now returned Juana Foust to her preferred land, New Mexico, and her original love for writing. The western spell still works on her, as it does in Searching for Fifth Mesa.
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