According to her colorful Mami Dearest, the life of young Gigi Anders will be simple if she can remember three maxims—be pretty, get married, and always drink TaB. Thus begins her instruction in the art of being a lady and the side effects of falling in love.
As the granddaughter of Eastern European and Russian shtetl-reared grandparents who immigrated as teenagers in the early 1920s to the fierce tropical beauty of Cuba, Anders is heir apparent to a legacy of transatlantic alienation. With dazzling wit and hilarity mined from the depths of loss and yearning, Anders chronicles her journey from beach baby to ostracized exile to vibrant intellectual, along the way balancing her obsession with killer outfits and zaftig, orgasmic meals—always with a can of TaB!—with the more serious pursuits of love, sanity, and lipstick in perfect siren red.
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Author of the hilarious memoir Be Pretty, Get Married, and Always Drink TaB, Washington Post special correspondent Gigi Anders and her parents were born Jewish in Havana, Cuba. The trio fled Castro's regime for the United States in 1961. After six months in Miami Beach, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Gigi came of age and eventually turned to writing. She has written for Glamour, Allure, Mirabella, American Health for Women, USA Today's USA Weekend, American Journalism Review, Hispanic, Latina, and First for Women.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Oy veh and ay caramba! What an upbringing Washington Post writer Anders had! Writing in a unique voice that captures the distinctiveness of both her Jewish and Cuban heritages, Anders becomes a sort of Alice in Wonderland, leading readers through a looking-glass life, before and after her parents were forced from Cuba in the wake of Castro's revolution. Anders remembers a princess-perfect world in Havana, where her Jewish grandparents had immigrated in the 1920s and made their fortunes. Then, in a poignantly funny scene, the clan must leave with almost nothing. The guards even demand Anders surrender her red tricycle, but she fights them off with a signature willpower that becomes more evident as the story proceeds. Handled equally well are her Cuban Jewish, fish-out-of-water stories, culminating at her eastern private school, Sidwell Friends, or as she calls it, Frenzy. There's only one character more fascinating than Anders, and that's her gorgeous, redheaded, red-fingernailed, potty-mouthed ("Fohk!") Mami. And Mami's unquenchable charisma is the ongoing problem in the relationship between mother and daughter. Gigi is always playing catch-up with a mother who doesn't even know there's a competition on. Often laugh-out-loud funny, with lots of Spanglish dialogue and priceless cross-cultural moments, this is more than a read; it's an experience. Ilene Cooper
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