Lolita Lebrón's granddaughter, heir to the most public female embodiment of heroic self-sacrifice in Puerto Rico in this century, has written a memoir full of searing, intimate truths, silences broken open to reveal the personal costs of public mythmaking . . .A momentous act of courage."
This memoir introduces us to a writer bound to make an impact . . . An autobiography as fantastic as any novel . . .It is a mark of Vilar's art that her story seems warm and alive."
St. Louis Post - Dispatch
Just as artist Frida Kahlo's splintered self-portraits and diaries personify Mexico's proud yet fragmented self-image, Vilar' s intimate accounts about herself and her family personalize Puerto Rico's political, social, and cultural wars for its identity."
Philadelphia Inquirer, Notable Book of the Year
Startling, raw, and affecting, a painful exercise in which memoir as therapy becomes memoir as art."
Kirkus Reviews (STARRED)
Stunning. A lyrical and visionary memoir of depression, Puerto Rican identity, and young womanhood."
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
-- The Women's Review of Books
A shred of black lace. A broken hand mirror. A spidery strip of false eyelash. These are the fragments left to Irene Vilar, granddaughter of Lolita Lebrin, the revered martyr for Puerto Rican independence who in 1954 sprayed the U.S. House of Representatives with gunfire. In The Ladies' Gallery, Vilar revisits the legacy of her grandmother and that of her anguished mother, who leapt from a speeding car when Vilar was eight. Eleven years after her mother's death, Vilar awakens in a psychiatric hospital and begins to face the devastating inheritance of abandonment and suicide passed down to her from grandmother and mother.
Alternating between Vilar's notes from the psychiatric ward and the unraveling of her family's secrets, this razor-sharp memoir of three generations of Puerto Rican women is urgent, impassioned, unforgettable.
"An autobiography as fantastic as any novel. "
"Profoundly moving [and] beautifully written."
--Rosario Ferre, author of The House on the Lagoon