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Anna In-Between Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Traveling back to her Caribbean island home on vacation from her high-pressure job as a book editor in Manhattan, Anna Sinclair is predisposed to be at odds with the vast dichotomy between her two worlds. Not only does the languid pace of tropical life take some adjustment but Anna is perennially frustrated by the fractious relationship with her mother, taking quick umbrage at the hypercritical woman's subtle faultfinding. So it goes until the day when her normally proper and reserved mother swallows her pride and reveals the hideous lump that has deformed her breast. Shocked by her mother's life-threatening condition, appalled by her father's seeming indifference to his wife's deteriorating health, Anna struggles to convince her parents to return with her to New York, where her mother can receive proper care. Mostly eschewing her traditional, sweeping themes of race and class structure within the colonialism of island culture, Nunez (Prospero's Daughter, 2006) offers a more intimate portrait of the unknowable secrets and indelible ties that bind husbands and wives, mothers and daughters. --Booklist--August 1, 2009
The title of her latest novel suggests a sit-com, or the upbeat identity lit marketed to teenagers. But Elizabeth Nunez layers "Anna In-Between," a psychologically and emotionally astute family portrait, with dark themes like racism, cancer and the bittersweet longing of the immigrant. Foremost, she explores the late innings of a successful marriage, in which husband and wife cling together in the shadow of mortality. --New York Times Book Review, September 13, 2009 (Editors Choice)
--Ms. Magazine --"The award-winning author of Prospero's Daughter has written a novel more intimate than her usual big-picture work; this moving exploration of immigrant identity has a protagonist caught between race, class and a mother's love."
More About the Author
Nunez was co-founder of the National Black Writers Conference, which she directed for eighteen years with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Reed Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation. She was executive producer for the 2004 Emmy nominated CUNY TV series, Black Writers in America. Her awards include 2013 National Council for Research on Women Outstanding Trailblazer Award; 2013 Caribbean American Distinguished Writer Award; 2012 Trinidad and Tobago Lifetime Literary Award; 2011 Barnes and Noble Poets and Writers, Writers for Writers Award. Nunez is a member of several boards, including the Center for Fiction, and CUNY TV. She is a judge for several national and international literary awards, including the Dublin IMPAC International Literary Award, and gives readings of her work across the country and abroad. Nunez received her PhD in English from New York University. She is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, the City University of New York, where she teaches creative writing, fiction.
Top Customer Reviews
John is a well-respected man on the island. And his wife has maintained a well-established decorum that she feels is necessary for the elite class. Anna, however, has left for the United States. Her mother sees no reason for having done so except Beatrice is proud that her daughter has become an editor in a publishing house.
Beatrice was not born into that upper class. And slowly we are given a historical tour of how people of various races have come to the island, mixed--or not mixed--and have formed themselves into a defined class system, disrupted now by drug trafficking.
Beatrice is a woman who adheres to rigid personal standards about personal space. Then something happens that challenges her, forcing her to deal with that rigidity.
I would have given this five stars except for one factor. I become annoyed with this new way of writing novels that seems to be--unfortunately--in vogue now, almost as though the novelist is now expected to write as though the novel is a movie script: They are in the living room. They are in the garden.
That aside, the plot is well developed, the characters believable, and the ambiguities life offers ones with which this reader easily connects.
As Anna visits, she discovers as much as things change they remain the same. Her mother's typical behavior is, at times, deplorable to Anna and her father's apathetic attitude towards her behavior, is more than she can stomach. Anna discovers her mother has breast cancer, which has not been diagnosed by a physician. Anna attempts to have her return to the States for treatment, but she refuses, while her father stands tall with her mother to Anna's dismay. Her mother's refusal comes on the heels of her distrust for all that is American.
Nunez delves into the behavioral and psychological development of the characters by recounting their familial history on the island. The Sinclair's are one of the island's most distinguished and respected families. Her mother often boasts about her daughter living in the Sates. However, her mother cannot understand why Anna rejects her roots. Anna in turn muses about her own behavior, back in the States, as she justifies her rejection of her birthplace.
ANNA IN BETWEEN by Elizabeth Nunez explores the former colonialism on this Caribbean island and all the factors that manifest the behaviors of the current natives. The author explores race and the class system with depth. When the conclusion is reached, the reader has received a history lesson of the local inhabitants and more specifically, the Sinclairs; a history Anna had no knowledge of.Read more ›
Anna In- between, is a coming of age story of mother and daughter. The book starts out a little slow, but it does pick up and reads like a book of poetry. I would definitely recommend this book for mothers and daughters who are struggling in their relationships. I am looking forward to more from Ms. Nunez.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another page-turner book in the series by this author. I've been trying to obtain all of her publications to date.Published on October 31, 2013 by Nola LesPierre