Ordinary Girls: A Memoir

Ordinary Girls: A Memoir

by Jaquira Díaz
Ordinary Girls: A Memoir

Ordinary Girls: A Memoir

by Jaquira Díaz


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One of the Must-Read Books of 2019 According to O: The Oprah Magazine * Time * Bustle * Electric Literature * Publishers Weekly * The Millions * The Week * Good Housekeeping

“There is more life packed on each page of Ordinary Girls than some lives hold in a lifetime.” —Julia Alvarez 

In this searing memoir, Jaquira Díaz writes fiercely and eloquently of her challenging girlhood and triumphant coming of age.

While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Díaz found herself caught between extremes. As her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was supported by the love of her friends. As she longed for a family and home, her life was upended by violence. As she celebrated her Puerto Rican culture, she couldn’t find support for her burgeoning sexual identity. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz writes with raw and refreshing honesty, triumphantly mapping a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be.

Reminiscent of Tara Westover’s Educated, Kiese Laymon’s Heavy, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club, and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries, Jaquira Díaz’s memoir provides a vivid portrait of a life lived in (and beyond) the borders of Puerto Rico and its complicated history—and reads as electrically as a novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643750828
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 06/16/2020
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 186,373
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Jaquira Díaz was born in Puerto Rico. Her work has been published in Rolling Stone, the Guardian, Longreads, The Fader, and T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and included in The Best American Essays 2016. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Kenyon Review, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She lives in Miami Beach with her partner, the writer Lars Horn.

Table of Contents

Girl Hood 1

Part 1 Madre Patria 3

Origin Story 5

El Caserío 16

La Otra 23

Home Is a Place 42

Part 2 Monstruo 63

Monster Story 65

Candy Girl 101

Ordinary Girls 142

Fourteen, or How to Be a Juvenile Delinquent 164

Girls, Monsters 179

Part 3 Familia 191

Beach City 193

Battle Stations 213

Secrets 233

Mother, Mercy 248

Part 4 Regresando 271

Returning 273

Ordinary Girls 312

An Interview with Jaquira Díaz 321

Questions for Discussion 329

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