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The Distance Between Us: A Memoir Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451661770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451661774
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In this poignant memoir about her childhood in Mexico, Reyna Grande skillfully depicts another side of the immigrant experience—the hardships and heartbreaks of the children who are left behind. Through her brutally honest firsthand account of growing up in Mexico without her parents, Grande sheds light on the often overlooked consequence of immigration—the disintegration of a family.”

—Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of Enrique's Journey

"Captivates and inspires . . . . Tracing the complex and tattered relationships binding the family together. --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review).

"Reyna Grande's extraordinary journey towards the American dream will be an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamed of a better life.”

—Ligiah Villalobos, Writer and Executive Producer of La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon)

“Reyna Grande is a fierce, smart, shimmering light of a writer with an important story to tell.” (Cheryl Strayed Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail )

About the Author

Reyna Grande is the author of two award-winning novels. Across a Hundred Mountains received an American Book Award, and Dancing with Butterflies was the recipient of an International Latino Book Award. Reyna lives in Los Angeles.

More About the Author

Reyna Grande is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Across A Hundred Mountains (Atria 2006), for which she received an American Book Award (2007),the El Premio Aztlan Literary Award (2006), and a Latino Books Into Movies Award (2010). Grande's second novel, Dancing with Butterflies, was published in October 2009 to critical acclaim. It was the recipient of a 2010 International Latino Book Award and was selected by Las Comadres Para Las Americas National Book Club. Born in Mexico in 1975, Grande was raised by her grandparents after her parents left her behind while they worked in the U.S. She came to the U.S. at the age of nine as an undocumented immigrant and went on to become the first person in her family to obtain a higher education. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and Film and Video from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She is a sought-after speaker at middle/high schools, colleges and universities across the nation, and teaches creative writing workshops in Los Angeles. Her third book, a memoir titled The Distance Between Us, in which she depicts her experiences as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. and her coming-of-age, will be published by Simon & Schuster August 28, 2012.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Thank you for sharing an amazing journey, your life.
Sadie B
It's a familiar story, but rarely has it been written about so well.
Tony Walton
Reading her book makes you feel like you are there with her.
Mrs. Nancy B. Tallon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hernandez on September 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a Mexican American. Up until I read this book, I thought that my journey through life was excruciating. After reading this book I now know that I am not alone in my negative feelings about childhood experiances.The book provided me with a narrative on what young people expect from parents and the inability of delivering on those expectations. In this case The American Dream took the adults away and kept the parents from nurturing the children left behind.We seldom think of those left behind and what they must go through, especially when they are children. The scars inflicted on them at such a young age will forever brand them.
This book was written with a deliberate outlook for the issues that are seldom talked about. The passion that Reyna Grande used to stroke this book with, made me not want to put it down. My hope is that people from countries other than Mexico will read it as well.I'm quite sure that she isn't alone in what she experianced.
The book was anything but boring. It was insightful and powerful.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Spindrift VINE VOICE on September 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Distance Between Us" may be the most important book you read this year. No matter what your politics are, the immigration debate is definitely one of the most, if not the absolute most, contentious issues of this tumultuous election season. It becomes easy after awhile to let the images of fences, government legislation, and faceless bigotry cloud our perspectives. Reyna Grande has provided us with a very personal narrative, one that puts a special "face" on the issue.

The face belongs to little Reyna...a four year old resident of Iguala,Mexico, who is delegated to the care of her paternal grandparents when her parents make the decision to flee (illegaly) to "El Otro Lados" (The United States) to earn enough money to eventually return to Mexico and their children to build their "dream house." Reyna is the youngest of three, her older brother and sister provide much needed solace to Reyna during the ordeal, which lasts way, way too long.

We follow the Grande children through their breathtaking struggle to cope with surviving the life of "little orphans" in Mexico and all the way through the difficult path that comes with the remainder of their childhood. All of it expressed through the musings of Reyna, or "Nena" as she is lovingly referred to by her "little mother", her sister, Mago. As memories perceived through the eyes of a child, become the reader's guide, the book takes us on an intimate tour of the Mexican immigrant's experience both left behind in Mexico and across the perilous border into El Otro Lados.

This book is not as heavy on poetry, beautiful prose, and magical realism as many previous Latina/Chicana pieces of literature that I have read.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rosita Rockera on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What is there to say about a writer who pours her heart and soul into her writing. She dares to open her private past to the world and at the same time makes a definitive point about our broken immigration system. Read it for the memoir then think how this story is repeated year after year with children of immigrant families.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lara Rios on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Important book. As a former teacher, I had many student just like Reyna in my classroom, and I only had hints of what they'd been through. Reyna filled in the blanks. Well written. Takes you on a journey of what it's like to be the child of immigrant parents, and what it feels like to spend most of your life without the nurturing parents are supposed to provide. Touching and heartbreaking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judith A. Rodriguez on December 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great narrative about the separation of a child from her parents due to immigration.
The author writes with wonderful detail - you really feel like you are there experiencing events with the character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jessica McCormick on June 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was required reading for my social work program's individual development class. This book is a wonderful illustration of how an individual's development can be simultaneously influenced by hardship and hope. Personally, I think this book would also be wonderful for a cultural competency class because it illustrates the importance of considering many factors that influence a person's experience instead of just assuming they are influenced by whatever our interpretation of their culture is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol E Bell on December 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was very readable, we cared about the main characters. Most of the group did not want to put the book down when they were reading...it really kept their interest.
A lot of various topics were stimulated in our discussion of the book. We recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By readingfan on November 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Grande paints a picture of a hard life in Mexico for those who are poverty stricken. No safety nets existed in her childhood. The abuse by her paternal grandmother and by her parents was inexcusable. It is interesting to see how policies formulated in Washington, D.C. affected real people. Love gave the three full siblings the strength to follow the path each chose.
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