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Try to Remember Paperback – May 5, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"This stunning debut offers a fresh and vibrant coming of age novel full of universal truths and dazzling particulars. Gabriela is a character you'll root for and grow to love. TRY TO REMEMBER is a book impossible to forget. I adored every single page."―National Bestselling Author Mameve Medwed
"Poet and immigration lawyer Gomez (When Comets Rained) mines her own experiences in her enthralling fiction debut, the story of a family of Colombian immigrants adjusting to life in '70s-era Florida. Gabriela De la Paz has earned the nickname Auxiliadora ('the Helper') for all her efforts translating and interpreting American culture for her parents. The frustrated daughter of Roberto and Evangelina, Gabi must act far older than her teen years when her Papi, schizophrenic and untreated, can't keep a job and gets into trouble with the police because of his violent behavior. Evangelina must hide her sewing and cleaning jobs to avoid Roberto's wrath (he disapproves of women working) while Gabi's brothers, Manolo and Pablo, fear his physical abuse. Gomez charts Gabi's challenges as she gains confidence, educates herself, and finds inspiration from Lara, a 'modern' woman for whom she babysits, in this intense and sensitive tale with crossover YA appeal. (May)"―Publishers Weekly
"What holds the reader is the drama of each intense home scenario, scary and tender... The clash between traditional immigrant values and feminist
independence is powerful... In her debut novel, Colombian immigrant poet Gomez dramatizes the universal dilemma of a loving family
serving as 'both joy and prison.'"―Booklist
"Far from the stereotypical wisecracking rebel or clueless outsider, Gabi is an irresistible narrator-observant, compassionate, and utterly genuine-trying to balance family loyalty and a yearning to discover 'Who did I dare to be?'"―Karen Holt, O Magazine
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
My parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1938 as Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. Although I was born here, I can identify with the balancing, or not, of daily living in two worlds with different norms, expectations and customs. I think the book would make a wonderful movie.
Gabi has a large and extended family that helps them out. Gabi's mother does piecework and part-time janitorial work. Gabi's father harbors delusions about the U.S. government owing him millions of dollars. He is unable to hold down a job. He spends his days writing incoherent letters to the government. Gabi is the transcriber of these letters which are incomprehensible and delusional in quality.
It is obvious to Gabi that her father is very ill. The family, however, and especially Gabi's mother, refuse to believe the extent of his illness. They rerer to what is going on with him as 'nerves'. Sometimes Gabi's father rants and beats up Gabi's brothers. They, in turn, begin to act oppositionally. Gabi appears to be the only mature one in the family. She tries to break through her mother's denial about her father, but can not succeed.
After Gabi's father has an exceptionally severe rant, her mother gets some dalmane (a sleeping pill) from a relative and starts grinding these pills into her husband's morning orange juice. It seems to calm him down some.
Gabi is coming of age in all this chaos. She is trying to individuate, make friends and understand the rituals of dating. She is also trying to figure out what she wants to do with her live.Read more ›
When Gabriela's proud, temperamental father begins to behave in increasingly bizarre, even violent ways, the effect on her family is like a time bomb suddenly appearing in their livingroom. Gabriela's mother refuses to acknowledge the change. Her brothers find ways to escape, through work and friends and drugs. Only Gabriela--barely an adolescent when the novel opens--can keep the family from blowing apart.
Iris Gomez is an award-winning poet and immigration lawyer. She was born in Colombia and writes with the kind of intelligence, authority and lyricism that even her fellow countryman, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, would have to admire. TRY TO REMEMBER is a stunning debut novel. And in Gabriela de la Paz, you will find one of the most intelligent, sympathetic and unique characters you have ever met. A must-read!
This conflict causes her to question her loyalty to her family as it collides with fealty to her own future. Page turning, poetic, and achingly true--I highly recommend this wonderful book that captures time, place and the plight of a child of immigrants.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I do not ever remember seeing this book before - I am trying to remember! When was a supposed to have bought it?Published on February 1, 2013 by Joyce L. Shelso
A coming-of-age story rendered beautifully from a gifted writer. The book centers on Gabi and her Colombian family living the hyphenated immigrant life in Miami, dealing with... Read morePublished on April 30, 2012 by David Perez
Iris Gomez is an exceptional writer who deals with the young adult years of a girl growing up in a Columbian immigrant family in the early 1970s with great compassion, depth, and... Read morePublished on December 11, 2011 by RS
Try to Remember is the coming-of-age story of a Columbian girl, in Miami, who is straddling two cultures trying to assimilate both into 70's era Miami and into her insular home. Read morePublished on August 4, 2011 by American Immigration Council's Community Education Center
Try to Remember immerses the reader in a space and place that is reality for many but recognized and understood by few. We seldom know what others are experiencing. Read morePublished on December 27, 2010 by J. Cutting
A coming-of-age novel about a Colombian female immigrant (Gabi) to the US. She has moved from New York to Miami. Read morePublished on October 2, 2010 by ITZME
This is an unforgettable novel! Gomez writes beautifully and describes scenes so vividly and poetically that you feel like you're a member of the de la Paz family. Read morePublished on August 24, 2010 by Amazon Customer
This book resonates so much with me! my parents (de Argentina) came in 1970 and still cannot speak proper english. Read morePublished on August 23, 2010 by lauren