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Arte Publico Press

Slowly, then rapidly, the city began to fade from view as Nilda looked out the window.  First, the Park Avenue Market began to disappear and she looked back at 110th Street where she went shopping with her mother almost every day; then all the buildings, tenements, streetlights and traffic faded from view. Panic seized her and she swallowed, fighting a strong urge to cry as she longed to go back home that very second.---Nilda

Named an “Outstanding Book of the Year” by The New York Times and one of the “Best Books of the Year” by the American Library Association in 1973 when it was first published, Nicholasa Mohr’s classic novel, NILDA, about life as an immigrant in New York City offers a poignant look at one young girl’s experiences. Issues of race, religion and machismo are movingly depicted in this groundbreaking coming-of-age novel that was one of the first by a Latina author to be hailed by the mainstream media.

Summary:  It’s the summer of 1941, and all ten-year-old Nilda wants to do is enjoy the cool water from an open fire hydrant with her friends. But policemen lash out at the Puerto Rican residents, ending their fun. The cops’ animosity is played out over and over again in Nilda’s life as she is repeatedly treated with contempt by adults in positions of authority: teachers, nurses and social workers. At home, though, Nilda is surrounded by a loving but eccentric family that—while experiencing financial hardship, the onset of World War II and the death of loves ones—supports and encourages her artistic abilities.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   Nicholasa Mohr was born on November 1, 1938. She is a well known Nuyorican writer. In 1973 she became the first Hispanic woman to have her literary works published by the large publishing houses. Her works are about growing up in the Puerto Rican communities of the Bronx and El Barrio. In 1973, her book NILDA, which traces the life of a teenage Puerto Rican girl who confronts prejudices during World War II era in New York was awarded the Jane Addams Children Book Award. In 1975 her second book EL BRONX REMEMBERED was awarded the New York Times Outstanding Book Award. Her titles include: A Matter of Pride and Other Stories, The Song of el coqui and other Tales of Puerto Rico, The Magic Shell and I Never Seen My Father.