Former Eau Claire resident Janet Kurtz has released her debut book, “Northern Shores -- Southern Borders: Revelations of a Bilingual Life.”
Kurtz, a retired Spanish and Latin American studies instructor from Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minn., compiled a collection of life adventures, all results of her speaking Spanish.
"Northern Shores -- Southern Borders" is a chronology of bilingual events beginning with a three-week language immersion program she attended in Saltillo, Mexico. In 2018, Kurtz read one of her essays to her local writers group about the day she was called to meet a local farmer at the emergency room after one of her workers, a Zapotec Indian woman, had been kicked in the head by the cow she was milking. Kurtz was asked how she ended up in such situations. Her response: Spanish.
Although the book genre falls under memoir, it is a compilation of people, cultures, history and politics. It is designed to call up memories of those who have ever gone out-of-country on a mission trip, as a study abroad student, been a host family, worked with immigrants or tried to learn another language.
Proceeds are being donated to the Kurtz-Poland Spanish Scholarship Fund at Central Lakes College.