9780452288300

Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA

Alvarez, Julia

ISBN 10: 0452288304 / 0-452-28830-4
ISBN 13: 9780452288300
Publisher: Plume
Publication Date: 2008
Binding: Softcover
About this title:
Synopsis:

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a “phenomenal, indispensable” (USA Today) exploration of the Latina “sweet fifteen” celebration, by the bestselling author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of Butterflies

The quinceañera, a celebration of a Latina girl’s fifteenth birthday, has become a uniquely American trend. This lavish party with ball gowns, multi-tiered cakes, limousines, and extravagant meals is often as costly as a prom or a wedding. But many Latina girls feel entitled to this rite of passage, marking a girl’s entrance into womanhood, and expect no expense to be spared, even in working-class families. Acclaimed author Julia Alvarez explores the history and cultural significance of the “quince” in the United States, and the consequences of treating teens like princesses. Through her observations of a quince in Queens, interviews with other quince girls, and the memories of her own experience as a young immigrant, Alvarez presents a thoughtful and entertaining portrait of a rapidly growing multicultural phenomenon, and passionately emphasizes the importance of celebrating Latina womanhood.


About the Author:
Julia Alvarez is the author of the novels How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies (a national Book Critics Circle Award finalist), and Yo!. She has also published two poetry collections ( Homecoming and The Other side/El Otro Lado) and a collection of essays ( Something to Declare).

From AudioFile:
Alvarezs book originally meant to cover the celebration rituals of a specific 15-year-old Latina. Soon, however, the author found herself remembering her own adolescent experience and looking at how the coming-of-age experience fits into American culture in general. The result is a detailed blend of social science and memoir. While the book focuses on one specific quinceanera--from the dreaming and planning stages of her celebration to the actual event--Alvarez also interviews many other 15-year-old girls, as well as investigates historical precedents for the celebration, its religious aspects, and its cultural offshoots, such as quinceanera entrepreneurs. As Alvarez shifts topics, Daphne Rubin-Vega helps provide much needed continuity. Rubin-Vega easily shifts between English and Spanish, slips in and out of quotes and anecdotes, and smoothly narrates the research and cultural commentary. S.W. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Book Description: Plume, 2008. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Though [Alvarez] brings a critical eye to long-held mythseach page is a love song to the cultural ties that bind generations of women from a diverse group of countries. Chicago Sun-Times Fascinating, exhaustively researched. The Washington Post Alvarezs honest grappling with her caught-between-twocultures experience is compelling. Entertainment Weekly A journey into experiencing a vital, exuberant ritual of modern Latino lifeAs an author, Alvarez is a terrific tour guide. The Seattle Times A thorough, thoughtful, and important book. . . .Bravo, Julia Alvarez. Mary Pipher, author of The Middle of Everywhereand Reviving Ophelia With grace and humanity, Alvarez explores the fascinating evolution of the quinceaera tradition in the United States, responding provocatively to a tradition that charms her and simultaneously clashes with feminist sensibilities. Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cubanand A Handbook to Luck This is not just a book for Latinas. Once Upon a Quinceaerais for all of usespecially for those of us raising daughters in America today. Maria Hinosa, Senior Correspondent for NOW/PBS, author of Raising Rauland Crews. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0452288304

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