|The Feminist Press at CUNY|
This debut is so much more than an immigrant’s story. It is an ode to the resilience of the human spirit. A hymn to the power of poems and stories as agents of personal liberation and social change. In any language. Any culture. Anywhere in the world. ¡Brava, Claudia! ¡Otra, otra! Encore! —Lucha Corpi
Breathtaking. Honest. Bilingual. Bicultural.
A journey across numerous borders in search of the Promise Land. Claudia uses all types of forms of writing to tell her story—poetry, prose, English, Spanish. This is her life, her memories. Some good, a lot bad. She doesn’t fit in the new land, and after a few years, she doesn’t fit back home in Guatemala either. She is of both lands, but none. Does that make her more... or less? Unfortunately, that is the eternal struggle of bicultural children.
Seven-year-old Claudia wakes up one day to find her mother gone, having left for the United States to flee domestic abuse and pursue economic prosperity. Claudia and her two older sisters are taken in by their great aunt and their grandmother, their father no longer in the picture. Three years later, her mother returns for her daughters, and the family begins the month-long journey to El Norte. But in Los Angeles, Claudia has trouble assimilating: she doesn’t speak English, and her Spanish sticks out as “weird” in their primarily Mexican neighborhood. When her family returns to Guatemala years later, she is startled to find she no longer belongs there either. A harrowing story told with the candid innocence of childhood, Hernández’s memoir depicts a complex self-portrait of the struggle and resilience inherent to immigration today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Claudia D. Hernández is a poet, editor, translator, and bilingual educator, born and raised in Guatemala. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and writes in Spanish and English, and sometimes weaves in Poqomchiʼ, an indigenous language of her Mayan heritage. Hernández is the editor of the anthology Women, Mujeres, Ixoq: Revolutionary Visions (Conocimientos Press 2017), and the founder of the ongoing photography project Today’s Revolutionary Women of Color. She currently resides in Los Angeles. Visit Claudia at https://www.claudiadhernandez.com.