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#ReadLatinoLit in August

Aug 2, 2022 | Books, Cultural Experience, Language Acquisition

Las Comadres & Friends National Latino Book Club started in 2007 and is currently in 15 cities, with more cities to follow. All books are in English, written by Latino authors. Membership is free and open to all readers.


Each month, Las Comadres & Friends Book Club features a Book of the Month selection and one or two additional “Conversations with” books. At the end of the month, there is a LIVE zoom teleconference with the author(s), plus a simultaneous TwitterChat on @ReadLatinoLit. Registration is free and open to all readers.


Author: Silvia Vasquez-Lavado
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.


Endless ice. Thin air. The threat of dropping into nothingness thousands of feet below. This is the climb Silvia Vasquez-Lavado braves in her page-turning, pulse-raising memoir following her journey to Mount Everest.

A Latina hero in the elite macho tech world of Silicon Valley, privately, she was hanging by a thread. Deep in the throes of alcoholism, hiding her sexuality from her family, and repressing the abuse she’d suffered as a child, she started climbing. Something about the brute force required for the ascent?the risk and spirit and sheer size of the mountains and death’s close proximity?woke her up. She then took her biggest pain as a survivor to the biggest mountain: Everest.

“The Mother of the World,” as it’s known in Nepal, allows few to reach her summit, but Silvia didn’t go alone. She gathered a group of young female survivors and led them to base camp alongside her. It was never easy. At times hair-raising, nerve-racking, and always challenging, Silvia remembers the acute anxiety of leading a group of novice climbers to Everest’s base, all the while coping with her own nerves of summiting. But, there were also moments of peace, joy, and healing with the strength of her fellow survivors and community propelling her forward.

In the Shadow of the Mountain is a remarkable story of heroism, one which awakens in all of us a lust for adventure, an appetite for risk, and faith in our own resilience.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: In 2016, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado became the first Peruvian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal. By 2018, she completed climbing the 7 Summits (otherwise known as the tallest mountain in each continent), becoming the first openly gay woman to do so. Silvia is a role model for anyone who has been told that their identity comes with limitations. She is a fierce advocate for LGTBQ+ equality and women’s rights and sexual abuse survivors. Silvia’s achievements made her recognized as a leader on and off the mountain and a symbol of women’s empowerment worldwide.

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