The Memories of Ana Calderon

The Memories of Ana Calderon

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by Graciela Limon
     
 

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Ana's idyllic childhood, romping among the dunes in a Mexican fishing village, is shattered when her mother dies in childbirth, and Ana must assume the duties of caring for the younger ones of the family. Not only must she assume adult responsibility, but she must challenge her community's consensus about the role she has inherited as a female. In order to earn enough… See more details below

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Overview

Ana's idyllic childhood, romping among the dunes in a Mexican fishing village, is shattered when her mother dies in childbirth, and Ana must assume the duties of caring for the younger ones of the family. Not only must she assume adult responsibility, but she must challenge her community's consensus about the role she has inherited as a female. In order to earn enough for his family to survive, Ana's father takes the children and an adopted son to the United States. Here begins Ana's long torturous odyssey towards self-fulfillment. On the way, she must face her father's ever-increasing wrath, her sisters' envy and society's rigidity as she becomes more independent. But what is in store for her is more pain than her father alone can inflict: a treacherous love affair that leaves her with child, banishment from the sisters she has raised, a prison term, grueling agricultural work. Ana overcomes all but fate itself in this novel of surprising plot twists and unforgiving destiny.

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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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558853553
Publisher:
Arte Publico Press
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
199
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.40(d)

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