The Memories of Ana Calderon

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Overview

Fiction. THE MEMORIES OF ANA CALDERON is the fictional memoir of a talented woman, born in tradition-bound rural Mexico, who comes to the United States and greater opportunity only to find that here, too, society, family, and religion seem to conspire to hold her back. In order to succeed Ana must give up all that she holds dear. She must remake herself into a rootless and obsessed individual. But even after accomplishing this, fate still conspires to wound her. Ana Calderón has will, guts, and intelligence, but ...

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Overview

Fiction. THE MEMORIES OF ANA CALDERON is the fictional memoir of a talented woman, born in tradition-bound rural Mexico, who comes to the United States and greater opportunity only to find that here, too, society, family, and religion seem to conspire to hold her back. In order to succeed Ana must give up all that she holds dear. She must remake herself into a rootless and obsessed individual. But even after accomplishing this, fate still conspires to wound her. Ana Calderón has will, guts, and intelligence, but her battle against family, church, and the justice system shakes our belief in the ability to forge our own destinies. Other novels by Graciela Limon available from SPD include IN SEARCH OF BERNABE, THE DAY OF THE MOON, ERASED FACES, and SONG OF THE HUMMINGBIRD.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Limon's graceful writing and astute observations about the problems of Mexican-American life are often lost in this formulaic immigrant rags-to-riches story, which draws heavily on pop psychology for its suspense. Ana Calderon begins her life in abject poverty in a fishing village in southern Mexico. After her mother dies, her father, Rodolfo, takes the family north to harvest tomatoes. Limon does an excellent job of describing the hardships of migrant life and the driving emotions of the family patriarch, who quickly understands that he is being taken advantage of. The family escapes across the border to the L.A. barrio, where Rodolfo grows resentful of Ana's academic progress, finally forcing her to quit high school and find work in a shoe factory. An affair with her adopted brother, Octavio, leaves Ana pregnant. After Octavio refuses to marry her, a lonely Anglo couple take her in. What has begun as a sensitive exploration of one woman's attempt to come to terms with two cultures now becomes an increasingly chaotic portrait of a dysfunctional family whose lives are fraught with melodrama: attempted murder, a prison term for Ana, the disappearance of her son, and more. Events are unbelievably resolved as the novel closes, in 1975. One wishes that the talented author of In Search of Bernabe had confined her canvas here to the unique aspects of Mexican-American experience, which she portrays so well. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Abused by fate and family, Ana, the strong-willed protagonist of Limn's second novel (following In Search of Bernabe, LJ 8/93) endures a life of extremes. After her mother's early death, Ana and her younger siblings accompany their father in flight from the poverty of their Mexican sea village to East L.A. Despised and cursed by her father and betrayed by Octavio, her lover and lifelong friend, Ana first loses her son to kidnappers, then adoption, and spends two years in prison for a crime of violent passion. She also acquires strong friends and makes a strange, breathless ascent to great wealth and prestige. Yet at this summit, her father's curse returns in a series of deeply shocking events. Abrupt and disconcerting, but frequently riveting, this imagined memoir is for larger fiction and area collections.-Janet Ingraham, Worthington P.L., Ohio
Greg Burkman
Limon's first novel, In Search of Bernabe, received a 1994 Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, and her second novel should awaken the conscience and compassion that drive and haunt every reader. Alive with the ruin of historical memory and the life of testimony, The Memories of Ana Calderon is by turns a fictional first-person memoir and third-person account of a gifted woman born in Mexico in the years preceding World War II. Blamed from her earliest years for poisoning her mother's womb because her mother bore no living boys after her birth, Ana moves north with her family and Octavio, a stowaway adopted orphan. Working though brutally impoverished 18-hour days as migrant farm workers, they arrive in Los Angeles, where Ana must abandon traditional community as she works a deadening urban job, achieves corporate success, and shoots Octavio, who made her pregnant, married her sister, and stole her infant son. Ana goes to jail, and, after her release, chooses life and her country over high technology and hatred. A novel of absolute stylistic and social integrity that speaks of one victory of personal survival in the face of the cruel vagaries of history, commodity culture, and West Coast U.S. An honest and terrifyingly pertinent account of a continuing nightmare, this is a story of the hard realities that command a contemporary choice between personal freedom and familial, cultural tradition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558851160
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.71 (w) x 8.76 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2007

    Graciela Limon

    When I started reading the book of 'The Memories of Ana Calderon' I started to like it because of all the good things that happened in the beginning it reminder me when I was a young kid. Many of the events that happened in the story make me keep reading because every time I was reading it make me read more and more. The book has many events that made you think about what would it come next? When I finish the book I still was thinking of the events that happened. Graciela wrote the book at it seem that she was telling the story very personal and also to someone who she really trust. I recommend this book to everyone who likes suspense and those who likes action too. The book it¿s very easy to read. I really enjoy reading it because of all the dramatic events that happened. I have read only a few books because I don¿t like most of the books because it doesn¿t seem very interesting, but when I started reading it I became something more then just read. It became like a movie and it seem that I was there seeing what she was doing. Another thing that I like about the book is the way that she explains some events that happened. When I read those parts it made me feel like her.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2003

    best book

    Wow. This book is incredible. You never guess what is coming ahead but when you guess you guess wrong. It truly is one of the best books I have ever read. You will not get bored and you will be intrigued. It will keep you thinking about it even after you are done reading it. You will never forget this story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2002

    Powerful! You'll love this book!

    I read this book for my Chicano Studies class and I loved it! Ana is a very powerful woman who struggles in life, because she is a woman. The best think about it, is that she fights with all her might. You have to read it! I couldn't put the book down! This book is very dramatic and tragect, so if you love that....you'll love this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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