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Homing Instincts

Dionisia Morales

5.5 × 8.5. 176 pages.

2018. ISBN 978-0-87071-918-9. Paperback, $19.95.


Available April 2018

As a native New Yorker who now calls Oregon home, Dionisia Morales knows how moving and resettling can spark an identity crisis relative to geography, family, and tradition. The essays collected in Homing Instincts explore how Morales’s conception of home plays out in her daily life, as she navigates the gap between where she is and the stories she tells herself about where she belongs.

Although Morales migrated from one North American coast to another, the questions she raises are relevant to migrations of any scale and place, whether across town or around the world. What does it mean to be a newcomer? Who has the right to claim a sense of place? What is gained or lost when we try to fit in? In a world where people are migrating more than ever for social, economic, personal, and political reasons, these questions take on a new urgency.

A wife and mother as well as a professional writer and editor, Morales writes with grace and resolve about a broad range of topics, including pregnancy, people watching, rock climbing, and bee colony collapse. She channels a spirit of adventure and adaptability while acknowledging how certain habits and mindsets are indelibly ingrained and are—like it or not—forever part of where, what, and who we call home.

As issues of migration and social integration play out in national and international politics, Morales provides a personal lens through which readers can appreciate that at one time or another we have all been in the process of arriving. Homing Instincts is a remarkable debut from a gifted prose stylist. It will be warmly received by lovers of the essay form and anyone who has sought, or still seeks, a place to call home.

Member of AAUP