by Patricia Engel


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Vida by Patricia Engel

Fresh, accomplished, and fearless, Vida marks the debut of Patricia Engel, a young author of immense talent and promise. Vida follows a single narrator, Sabina, as she navigates her shifting identity as a daughter of the Colombian diaspora and struggles to find her place within and beyond the net of her strong, protective, but embattled family.

In “Lucho,” Sabina’s family—already “foreigners in a town of blancos”—is shunned by the community when a relative commits an unspeakable act of violence, but she is in turn befriended by the town bad boy who has a secret of his own; in “Desaliento,” Sabina surrounds herself with other young drifters who spend their time looking for love and then fleeing from it—until reality catches up with one of them; and in “Vida,” the urgency of Sabina’s self-imposed exile in Miami fades when she meets an enigmatic Colombian woman with a tragic past.

Patricia Engel maps landscapes both actual and interior in this stunning debut, and the constant throughout is Sabina—serious, witty, alternately cautious and reckless, open to transformation yet skeptical of its lasting power. Infused by a hard-won, edgy wisdom, Vida introduces a sensational new literary voice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802170781
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/07/2010
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,266,384
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 11.06(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Patricia Engel's debut, Vida , was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Fiction Award, Young Lions Fiction Award, winner of a Florida Book Award and Independent Publisher Book Award, and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Barnes & Noble, and L.A. Weekly. Her award-winning fiction has appeared in A Public Space , The Atlantic , Boston Review , Guernica , Harvard Review , and elsewhere. Born to Colombian parents and raised in New Jersey, she is a graduate of New York University and earned her MFA at Florida International University. Patricia lives in Miami.

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Vida 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Diego_Winkle More than 1 year ago
From the moment I picked up the book I could not place it down. The metaphors and detailed setting descriptions provided throughout the stories allowed you to integrate with the story. I had the pleasure of meeting Patricia in person and she is a true visionary! Looking forward to seeing what she has up ahead because she can reach great heights in the literary world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by: Sandra Rating: 4 stars Review: Patricia Engel’s debut book was wonderful. Her main character, Sabina, was smart, witty, and real; she often referred to herself as a “late bloomer.” These are stories of a girl’s coming-of-age from childhood to adulthood (although not necessarily in that order) that trek through the hurdles revolving her family, friends, neighbors, and her ethnic identity. Living in a community shunned by “blancos” makes life a little lonely for Sabina in “Lucho.” In “Refuge,” Sabina must hide from the wreckage of the 9/11 aftermath while pondering the fact that she “cheated,” that she should’ve been in that building with all those victims if she had only gone to work that day. And, in “Vida,” Sabina befriends a prostitute that she can’t help but be fascinated by. Full of vivid and lively descriptions like “your skin looks like diarrhea.” (47) I couldn’t help but laugh at that one. “Death is a huge aphrodisiac.” (35) Interesting how you always want people when they’re dead –they are the “ungettable” get. Engel has a way of engaging the reader with her candid humor and elegant prose. Her unique writing style of broken sentences was so oddly poetic –yet it all seemed to work.
AbbyRefaat-Writer More than 1 year ago
A unique writing style from a brilliant talent.   
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LuciT More than 1 year ago
This is light reading (the paper used for printing is very interesting too). Not one of those book with long, never-ending descriptions of people and places. Something happens on every page and the book interests the reader from the beginning. Great for gifts, to carry in your purse (not heavy), for airport and airplane reading, or to read a chapter each night. Once you start, you can't stop. If has some drama but with good sense of humor in every page. The best character is Sabina's mother, a funny latin lady, which I can totally identify with other latin mothers I know!