SOURCE: Author Caroline Alethia

Author Caroline Alethia

July 17, 2012 09:37 ET

La Planta Sagrada Now Available in Spanish; Gringa Writer Examines Latin America in New Novel

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Jul 17, 2012) - Have you ever wondered exactly what Yankees think of Latin America? Look no farther than the new novel, La Planta Sagrada (Plant Teacher, in English), written by the decidedly "gringa" author, Caroline Alethia. Alethia spent ten months in Bolivia between 2007 and 2008, at a time when the country was violently divided in its support of President Evo Morales and his policies.

Not shy in her stance against the Morales regime, Alethia's La Planta Sagrada has been described as "honest" and "a must-read" by Huffington Post contributor Joel Hirst, while others have referred to the book as "neocon" and called for its boycott. Now the novel is available in Spanish and English, and you can decide for yourself.

"In truth, the novel is not overwhelmingly political," says Alethia. "La Planta Sagrada happens to take place in Bolivia during a time of unrest, and I describe this unrest as I witnessed it. But the deeper themes of the story center around more intimate topics of maturation and the surprising and sometimes powerful connections between seemingly unrelated events."

La Planta Sagrada begins with a hippie in Oakland flushing a syringe of LSD down a toilet in anticipation of a police raid, and it then follows the syringe's improbable three-decade journey to Los Yungas, Bolivia, the umbilical cord between the towering Andes and sprawling Amazonia. The syringe arrives just in time to affect the lives of two North Americans who have travelled to La Paz for opposing reasons -- Cheryl Lewis wishes to forge her future while Martin Banzer seeks to come to terms with his past.

While La Planta Sagrada remains a story primarily about North Americans and how North Americans perceive Bolivia, Alethia delves deep into Bolivian society. She explores the conflicts between the races, the divides between rich and the poor, and the thoughts and observations of everyday citizens in a society that she portrays as on the brink of dictatorship.

Whether you are drawn toward the spiritual, the magical, the political, or the simply human, chances are you will find a lot to like and to ponder in La Planta Sagrada. The book is for sale in paperback and in Kindle on You can also enjoy excerpts, blogs, and a video trailer (in English) at the book's website, LaPlantaSagrada.Net.

La Planta Sagrada/Plant Teacher has received recognitions at the Paris Book Festival, the Green Book Festival, the International Book Awards, the Hollywood Book Festival, and the Global E-Book Awards. For more information, copies for review (in Spanish or English), and interviews (in English) with the author contact Leslie Tandy at or Tel. 202.491.3276. Website:

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