Irene Blea


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Memoir, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry


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Irene Blea is a New Mexico native who earned her Ph. D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Before her retirement from California State University-Los Angeles, she was an accomplished author of several textbooks, poetry, academic and popular articles. Blea retired as a Tenured, Full Professor and Chairperson of Mexican American Studies. Two of her seven textbooks, Toward a Chicano Social Science (Praeger, 1981), and La Chicana and the Intersection of Race, Class and Gender (Greenwood, 1983), are considered classics in her field. Blea has written and published one play and much poetry. After her retirement she published family fiction and memoir. Suzanna is the title of Blea’s first novel in a trilogy about a thirteen-year-old girl married off to a thirty-two-year-old man in 1920’s New Mexico. The second novel, Poor People’s Flowers, continues Suzanna’s story upon arrival in Colorado. The third, Beneath the Super Moon, is in print. Dr. Blea is an award-winning academic and a New Mexico Humanities Council Scholar.


Suzanna150Title: Suzanna
Publisher: Floricanto Press (2012)
Genre: Family Fiction

At the time when young girls quickly grew up to become old women, young Suzanna was raised by her grandparents and married off to a much older man. This is the first book of Blea’s trilogy. Suzanna quickly births two sons, is forced to run away from her abusive husband, and leaves her sons behind.

Available for Sale

ABQ Press

PoorPeoplesFlowers150Title: Poor People’s Flowers
Publisher: ABQ Press (2014)
Genre: Family Fiction

In Poor People’s Flowers, Suzanna runs fast. Twice she ran away from men. Both times she ran until her throat and chest hurt. The first man was her husband. The second a stranger who promised to take her from New Mexico to Colorado in the mid 1930’s. Suzanna runs until she meets two other men, and a beautiful woman. One of them uses her, the other helps her. The woman teaches her to work in a working class bar, and together they search for the children Suzanna left behind when she ran.

Available for Sale

ABQ Press

beneath-the-super-moon150Title: Beneath the Super Moon
Publisher: ABQ Press (November, 2016)
Genre: Family Fiction

Irene Blea’s final book of her Suzanna trilogy. Suzanna is set free to live life freely after a life predetermined by others. Only now, in the twilight of life, does the radiance of her soul shine through. This transformation occurs during the lunar eclipse known as the Super Moon when the moon appears closest to earth. It is then that Suzanna is finally reunited with her long-lost children, but not before she confronts the darkness in her heart and the sorrow of her past.

Available for Sale

ABQ Press

DaughtersOfTheWestMesa200Title: Daughters of the West Mesa
Publisher: ABQ Press (2015)
Genre: Fiction

This book is based on the true story of the discovery of 11 female remains and an unborn fetus on Albuquerque’s West Mesa. It is New Mexico’s largest crime scene on a 100-acre part of the desert. Dora has purchased a new house. Her back wall separates her from the crime scene. Dora is also a single parent of two daughters, Luna and Andrea. Luna has been missing for several months. Is Luna buried in the field, or not?

Available for Sale

ABQ Press

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