El club social de las chicas temerarias (The Dirty Girls Social Club)


Spanish Language Edition of The Dirty Girls Social Club

A vibrant, can’t-put-it-down novel of six friends—each one an unforgettable Latina woman in her late ‘20s—and the complications and triumphs in their lives

Inseparable since their days at Boston University almost ten years before, six friends form the Dirty Girls Social Club, a mutual support and (mostly) admiration society that no matter what happens to ...

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El club social de las chicas temerarias (The Dirty Girls Social Club)

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Spanish Language Edition of The Dirty Girls Social Club

A vibrant, can’t-put-it-down novel of six friends—each one an unforgettable Latina woman in her late ‘20s—and the complications and triumphs in their lives

Inseparable since their days at Boston University almost ten years before, six friends form the Dirty Girls Social Club, a mutual support and (mostly) admiration society that no matter what happens to each of them (and a lot does), meets regularly to dish, dine and compare notes on the bumpy course of life and love.

Las sucias are:

—Lauren, the resident “caliente” columnist for the local paper, which advertises her work with the line “her casa is su casa, Boston”, but whose own home life has recently involved hiding in her boyfriend’s closet to catch him in the act

—Sara, the perfect wife and mother who always knew exactly the life she wanted and got it, right down to the McMansion in the suburbs and two boisterious boys, but who is paying a hefty price

—Amber, the most idealistic and artistic member of the club, who was raised a valley girl without a word of Spanish and whose increasing attachment to her Mexica roots coincides with a major record label’s interest in her rock ‘n’ roll

—Elizabeth, the stunning black Latina whose high profile job as a morning television anchor conflicts with her intensely private personal life, which would explain why the dates the other dirty girls set her up on never work out

—Rebecca, intense and highly controlled, who flawlessly runs Ella, the magazine she created for Latinas, but who can’t explain why she didn’t understand the man she married and now doesn’t even share a room with; and

—Usnavys, irrepressible and larger than life, whose agenda to land the kind of man who can keep her in Manolo Blahniks and platanos almost prevents her seeing true love when it lands in her lap.

There’s a lot of catching up to do.

Also available in an English-language edition.

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Editorial Reviews

This is the Spanish-language translation of the much-talked-about debut novel by Valdes-Rodriguez that is already high on the New York Times best seller list. A seasoned reporter that critics have compared to Terry McMillan, Valdes-Rodriguez got a hefty advance at auction for this novel, and Jennifer Lopez's production company has bought the film rights. A motley crew of six ambitious and professional Latinas who met 10 years ago at Boston University reunite every six months to catch up with one another. All in their late 20s and from a variety of backgrounds but without foreign accents, they resist society's efforts to pigeonhole them through Latina stereotypes. They are trying to discover their niche in the world as they struggle to find suitable mates. Imperfect and not idealized, irreverent and not properly WASP, they call themselves sucias ("dirty"), which has been cleverly translated here as temerarias ("daring," "unconventional"). This is a world Valdes-Rodriguez knows well: She comes from a Cuban-Irish background and was raised in Albuquerque, NM. "My mission in the book," she told the Chicago Tribune, "is to prove that the Latino category does not exist." Thus, her protagonists don't break stereotypes; the stereotypes simply don't apply to them. Not Latin bombshells or politically unpredictable, they don't wash their clothes by the river or engage in Third World or magic realism musings. Although some may consider this debut frivolous chick lit, the novel provides painless cultural savvy. Translator Lamami de Clairac uses a general Spanish, avoiding the Mexican, Dominican, Colombian, Puerto Rican, and Cuban idioms that the protagonists could use given their backgrounds. This is agood move, as a translation full of idioms would not be realistic: The six girls live in an English-speaking world, and most don't even know Spanish. Valdes-Rodriguez's bright use of language loses something in translation, but this version is still a fun and easy read. Generally recommended as one of the best beach books this year.
—Dolores M. Koch, New York City Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Lauren, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Sara, Amber, and Usnavys ("oohs-nah'vees"), or the sucias (dirty girls), as they call themselves, have been friends for the past decade, since their days at Boston University. They're all Latina, but they're as varied as the culture itself, representing different shapes, sizes, religions, ethnicities, and skin tones. Their approach to being Latina is diverse, too, ranging from denial to cultural confusion to ultra-militancy. As close as sisters, these young women meet every six months in Boston and discuss their problems and their triumphs, but it is their unspoken secrets that add the edge to their relationships. Former Boston Globe journalist Valdes-Rodriguez has written an incredible first novel, told in six distinct voices and points of view. As each of the women speaks, the lives of the others unfold just a little bit more. The early buzz on this book already has the media calling Valdes-Rodriguez "the Latina Terry McMillan," but this is truly a universal friendship book, crossing cultural lines as the characters advise, comfort, and support each other. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections of all sizes. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/03.]-Shelley Mosley, Glendale P.L., AZ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"The feel of a night out with the girls...charming...undeniably fun."

- Miami Herald

"This lively debut novel...reads like the Hispanic version of Waiting to Exhale."

- New York

"As a guilty pleasure it ranks somewhere between Valrhona chocolate and Jimmy Choo shoes-I simply could not put it down."

- Whitney Otto, author of How to Make an American Quilt

"...the summer's must-have beach book."

- Latina magazine

"...a fresh spin on the best-of-friends novel that's funny, touching, and exhilarating. A winner!"

- Jennifer Crusie

"The Latina community has a rich new voice and Valdez-Rodriguez is it."

- Jeffrey Kluger, coauthor of Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13

"Dirty Girls sets out to prove Latina can mean anything-black, white, rich, poor, Spanish-speaking, not Spanish-speaking."

- The Miami Herald

"...Valdes-Rodriguez has written an incredible first novel, told in six distinct voices and points of view."

- Library Journal

"...in the end, it's the complex, finely drawn characters who make the book work."

- Rocky Mountain News

"...a heartfelt, fast-moving, and often funny page-turner."

- Booklist

"This season's most scrumptious book...a summer must."

- Advocate

"Those who liked The Joy Luck Club or

iThe Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood will enjoy The Dirty Girls Social Club...It is heartfelt, fast-moving, and often funny."

- Oklahoman

"(an) affecting debut that takes a long, hard, and funny look at life in the U.S. for Latina women...an upscale telenovela with well-drawn, charmingly flawed characters from an author who explodes some myths."

- Kirkus Reviews

"Marked by fast-paced dialogue and a pop-culture sensibility, this engaging novel, each section of which is written from a different woman's perspective, carries an unmistakable message."

- Book

"The writing is strong, fluid, and sometimes laugh-out loud funny."

- Pioneer Press

"Valdes-Rodriguez' compelling characters are enhanced by their racial identities but not at all inaccesible to the non-Hispanic...an enjoyable read."

- San Antonio Express-News

"Valdes-Rodriguez' novel delivers on the promise of its sexy title (with a) diverse group of women that defies stereotypes. The book addresses serious questions-prejudice, the difficulty of winning respect from Latino men-but balances them with enough romances...to satisfy any chick lit fan. This is a fun, irresistible debut."

- Publishers Weekly

"As a guilty pleasure I would say The Dirty Girls Social Club ranks somewhere between Valrhona Chocolate and Jimmy Choo shoes—I simply could not put it down." —Whitney Ottto, author of How to Make an American Quilt

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756796792
  • Publisher: DIANE Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Pages: 328

Meet the Author

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist and a former staff writer for both the Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe. She was one of Latina magazine’s women of the year for 2002. She lives with her husband and son in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is her first novel.

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Reading Group Guide

Question: Lauren spends much of her time feeling inadequate and like an imposter. What do you think these feelings are rooted in?

Question: How do you think Rebecca's husband was raised to view Latinos? How does this impact their marriage? Is his disappointment in her fair, in your opinion?

Question: Elizabeth is the only foreign-born of the sucias and yet she spends the least amount of time thinking about her Latin identity. There are two big reasons for this. What do you think they are?

Question: Elizabeth does not seem to think her secret and her religion are at odds with one another? Why not? Do you agree?

Question: Sara seems to feel some responsibility for what is happening in her home life. Do you agree that she is partly to blame? Why, or why not?

Question: How could it be that Sara's home life and the image her friends have of her could be so different? Why do you think she hid the truth for so long?

Question: Why does Gato finally stray in his relationship with Amber? How does Amber react? By contrast, how do you think Lauren might have reacted in the same situation?

Question: Why does Usnavys think she needs to find a rich man? What in her past makes her believe this? How does this belief impact her happiness?

Question: The sucias, like many groups of friends, seem to end up in sets of two. Who do you think these pairs are, and why do you think they are drawn more to each other than to any of the other friends?

Question: The sucias are all Latinas, but they are also of different races, religions and backgrounds. How does this compare to images of Latinas you see in the U.S. media?

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