Isabel Allende will tackle Zorro in a new novel to be published in May. Allende already wrote one of the better historical novels about California, Daughter of Fortune. I loved her take on the Gold Rush. Often, when we think of the west we’re stuck with the baggage of our “Western” canon, with its quiet cowboys and gunslingers, without much insight about the diversity of people who emigrated west, or those who traveled east or north to get here, for that matter.

This hits a nerve for me as we just finished watching the first season of Deadwood on DVD. Creator, David Milch, deconstructs many of the myths and characters of the old west in high, poetic, and profanity-laden style. It’s a great series if you can get past the cursing, and made me wonder if there might be room for a similar coverage of my current hometown, Placerville, aka Old Hangtown, aka Old Dry Diggins.

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