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New book of short stories aims to preserve Denver's roots

Denver-based author Kali Fajardo-Anstine has released a new book of short stories based on her experiences and research.

DENVER — Lois Harvey owns West Side Books, a small, independently-run shop in a rapidly evolving area between Lowell Boulevard and Julian Street on 32nd Avenue in Denver. 

“We’ve been here about 22 years, in the heart of what we call the Highlands nowadays,” Harvey said.

Of the 60,000 some odd books that fill the shelves, one holds a particularly fond place in her heart.

"We have this new book by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, and it’s a wonderful book," she said. 

Credit: Mike Grady

Sabrina and Corina is a collection of eleven short stories from Denver-based-author Kali Fajardo-Anstine.

“It follows the lives of Chicanas of indigenous ancestry from this area,” Fajardo-Anstine said. 

She draws on her own experiences growing up in Denver to lend the book an authentic voice. Her research keeps the books honest.

“I listen to a lot of oral histories. I interview elders. I look through historical documents and photographs,” Fajardo-Anstine said. “I wanted to show that Denver is an old place and has a lot to offer and a lot of stories that are untold.”

Credit: Mike Grady

Fajardo-Anstine and Harvey have a relationship beyond author and book seller. 

“I started working here at West Side Books when I was 15-years-old,” explains Fajardo-Anstine said. 

In a city that is changing every day, Fajardo-Anstine hopes her book of stories ranging from 1954 to today helps newcomers to Denver learn where their city came from. 

“It's important to realize that there are people who live in a place before and they have a history that's attached to a place, and when you change the name of a place where people come from, in a way, you're erasing the history of the people who are already there," Fajardo-Anstine said. 

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