The Distance Between Us: A Memoir

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9781451661781: The Distance Between Us: A Memoir

“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.” —Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of Enrique's Journey

Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years in this “compelling . . . unvarnished, resonant” (BookPage) story of a childhood spent torn between two parents and two countries. As her parents make the dangerous trek across the Mexican border to “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) in pursuit of the American dream, Reyna and her siblings are forced into the already overburdened household of their stern grandmother. When their mother at last returns, Reyna prepares for her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father.

Funny, heartbreaking, and lyrical, The Distance Between Us poignantly captures the confusion and contradictions of childhood, reminding us that the joys and sorrows we experience are imprinted on the heart forever, calling out to us of those places we first called home.

Also available in Spanish as La distancia entre nosotros.

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About the Author:

Reyna Grande is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. She has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the Latino Book Award. Her second novel, Dancing with Butterflies, received critical acclaim. In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards for her memoir The Distance Between Us. Her works have been published internationally in countries such as Norway and South Korea.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Prologue

Reyna, at age two

MY FATHER’S MOTHER, Abuela Evila, liked to scare us with stories of La Llorona, the weeping woman who roams the canal and steals children away. She would say that if we didn’t behave, La Llorona would take us far away where we would never see our parents again.

My other grandmother, Abuelita Chinta, would tell us not to be afraid of La Llorona; that if we prayed, God, La Virgen, and the saints would protect us from her.

Neither of my grandmothers told us that there is something more powerful than La Llorona—a power that takes away parents, not children.

It is called The United States.

In 1980, when I was four years old, I didn’t know yet where the United States was or why everyone in my hometown of Iguala, Guerrero, referred to it as El Otro Lado, the Other Side.

What I knew back then was that El Otro Lado had already taken my father away.

What I knew was that prayers didn’t work, because if they did, El Otro Lado wouldn’t be taking my mother away, too.


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Book Description Washington Square Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. --Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of Enrique s Journey Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years in this compelling . . . unvarnished, resonant (BookPage) story of a childhood spent torn between two parents and two countries. As her parents make the dangerous trek across the Mexican border to El Otro Lado (The Other Side) in pursuit of the American dream, Reyna and her siblings are forced into the already overburdened household of their stern grandmother. When their mother at last returns, Reyna prepares for her own journey to El Otro Lado to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father. Funny, heartbreaking, and lyrical, The Distance Between Us poignantly captures the confusion and contradictions of childhood, reminding us that the joys and sorrows we experience are imprinted on the heart forever, calling out to us of those places we first called home. Also available in Spanish as La distancia entre nosotros. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781451661781

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Book Description Washington Square Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. --Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of Enrique s Journey Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years in this compelling . . . unvarnished, resonant (BookPage) story of a childhood spent torn between two parents and two countries. As her parents make the dangerous trek across the Mexican border to El Otro Lado (The Other Side) in pursuit of the American dream, Reyna and her siblings are forced into the already overburdened household of their stern grandmother. When their mother at last returns, Reyna prepares for her own journey to El Otro Lado to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father. Funny, heartbreaking, and lyrical, The Distance Between Us poignantly captures the confusion and contradictions of childhood, reminding us that the joys and sorrows we experience are imprinted on the heart forever, calling out to us of those places we first called home. Also available in Spanish as La distancia entre nosotros. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781451661781

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