- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Washington Square Press; 1 edition (March 12, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451661789
- ISBN-13: 978-1451661781
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 317 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Distance Between Us: A Memoir Paperback – March 12, 2013
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“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)
Award-winning novelist (Across a Hundred Mountains) Grande captivates and inspires in her memoir. Raised in Mexico in brutal poverty during the 1980s, four-year-old Grande and her two siblings lived with their cruel grandmother after both parents departed for the U.S. in search of work. Grande deftly evokes the searing sense of heartache and confusion created by their parents’ departure. Eight years later her father returned and reluctantly agreed to take his children to the States. Yet life on the other side of the border was not what Grande imagined: her father’s new girlfriend’s indifference to the three children becomes more than apparent. Though Grande’s father continually stressed the importance of his children obtaining an education, his drinking resulted in violence, abuse, and family chaos. Surrounded by family turmoil, Grande discovered a love of writing and found solace in library books, and she eventually graduated from high school and went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college. Tracing the complex and tattered relationships binding the family together, especially the bond she shared with her older sister, the author intimately probes her family’s history for clues to its disintegration. Recounting her story without self-pity, she gracefully chronicles the painful results of a family shattered by repeated separations and traumas (Aug.)
(Publishers Weekly: Starred Review)
“A brutally honest book…akin to being the “Angela’s Ashes” of the modern Mexican immigrant experience.” (LA Times)
“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)
“I’ve been waiting for this book for decades. The American story of the new millennium is the story of the Latino immigrant, yet how often has the story been told by the immigrant herself? What makes Grande’s beautiful memoir all the more extraordinary is that, through this hero’s journey, she speaks for millions of immigrants whose voices have gone unheard.” (Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street)
“The sadness at the heart of Grande’s story is unrelenting; this is the opposite of a light summer read. But that’s OK, because . . . this book should have a long shelf life.” (Slate)
“A timely and a vivid example of how poverty and immigration can destroy a family.” (The Daily Beast)
“Grande consistently displays a fierce willingness to ask tough questions, accept startling answers, and candidly render emotional and physical violence.” (Kirkus Reviews)
About the Author
Reyna Grande is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. As a girl, she crossed the US–Mexico border to join her family in Los Angeles, a harrowing journey chronicled in The Distance Between Us, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist that has been adopted as the common read selection by over twenty schools and colleges and fourteen cities across the country. Her other books include the novels Across a Hundred Mountains, winner of a 2007 American Book Award, and Dancing with Butterflies, and The Distance Between Us, Young Reader’s Version. She lives in Woodland, CA with her husband and two children. Visit ReynaGrande.com.
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This child, then woman, writes with love for some who would be unlovable for most of us and with a positive view of what would seem ugly and unbearable to most. I love her though I'll probably never have the privilege to meet her.
Besides Reyna's wonderful, well-written story, it was fun to practico mi limited, Español, more aptly, as you can read in this sentence, Spanglish. Reyna punctuates portions of her English with it, and mostly explains each Spanish word as she goes.
I loved this book and would recommend it to fiction and non-fiction lovers alike.