Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1616209135
Publisher: Algonquin Books (October 29, 2019)
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
One of the Must-Read Books of 2019 According to O: The Oprah Magazine * Time * Bustle * Electric Literature * Publishers Weekly * The Millions * The Week * Good Housekeeping
“There is more life packed on each page of Ordinary Girls than some lives hold in a lifetime.” —Julia Alvarez In this searing memoir, Jaquira Díaz writes fiercely and eloquently of her challenging girlhood and triumphant coming of age.
While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Díaz found herself caught between extremes. As her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was supported by the love of her friends. As she longed for a family and home, her life was upended by violence. As she celebrated her Puerto Rican culture, she couldn’t find support for her burgeoning sexual identity. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz writes with raw and refreshing honesty, triumphantly mapping a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be.
Reminiscent of Tara Westover’s Educated, Kiese Laymon’s Heavy, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club, and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries, Jaquira Díaz’s memoir provides a vivid portrait of a life lived in (and beyond) the borders of Puerto Rico and its complicated history—and reads as electrically as a novel.
Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz was a heartfelt, heartbreaking and yet hopeful memoir about Diaz’s life growing up in poverty, and living in the projects of Puerto Rico and Miami Beach.
Diaz told her story with unflinching bravery and honesty about her harrowing childhood, surviving the harsh streets, and with a mother suffering from mental illness. With the odds against her, she rose from all these and utilized her talents through her writing and pursuit of education to achieve the impossible.
Her story is about resilience, survival and the strength to overcome when the life handed to you is set up for failure. In this memoir Diaz’s triumph becomes our triumph as we get to examine this extraordinary life we are privy to.
Brava to this powerful and Insightful memoir I highly recommend!