A Glass of Water

Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
5
Free sample

“[A] blistering novel” of family, loyalty, ambition, and revenge that offers an intimate look into the tragedies unfurling at the US-Mexico border (Publishers Weekly).
 
The promise of a new beginning brings Casimiro and Nopal together when they are young immigrants, having made the nearly deadly journey across the border from Mexico. They settle into a life of long days in the chili fields, and in a few years their happy union yields two sons, Lorenzo and Vito. But when Nopal is brutally murdered, the boys are left to navigate life in this brave but capricious new world without her.
 
A Glass of Water is a searing, heartfelt tribute to brotherhood, and an arresting portrait of the twisted paths people take to claim their piece of the American dream. The first novel from award-winning memoirist, poet, and activist, Jimmy Santiago Baca, it is a passionate and galvanizing addition to Chicano literature.
 
“The sheer passion that drives Baca’s novel is undeniable.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“[With] image-rich writing . . . A Glass of Water adds another strong voice to the growing body of literature on immigration and migrant farmworkers . . . . Baca should be commended for tackling injustice in his fiction.” —High Country News
 
“A well-written and at times lyrical saga told with understanding and compassion.” —Library Journal
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About the author

Jimmy Santiago Baca was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has written several books of poetry and a number of screenplays. His awards include the National Endowment of Poetry Award, Vogelstein Foundation Award, National Hispanic Heritage Award, Berkeley Regents Award, Pushcart Prize, Southwest Book Award, and American Book Award.
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3.4
5 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
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Published on
Sep 14, 2010
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780802198921
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / Siblings
Fiction / Hispanic & Latino
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the border shantytown of Ysleta, Mexican immigrants Pilar and Cuauhtémoc Martínez strive to teach their four children to forsake the drugs and gangs of their neighborhood. The family’s hardscrabble origins are just the beginning of this sweeping new novel from Sergio Troncoso.

Spanning four decades, this is a story of a family’s struggle to become American and yet not be pulled apart by a maelstrom of cultural forces. As a young adult, daughter Julieta is disenchanted with Catholicism and converts to Islam. Youngest son Ismael, always the bookworm, is accepted to Harvard but feels out of place in the Northeast where he meets and marries a Jewish woman. The other boys—Marcos and Francisco—toil in their father’s old apartment buildings, serving as the cheap labor to fuel the family’s rise to the middle class. Over time, Francisco isolates himself in El Paso while Marcos eventually leaves to become a teacher, but then returns, struggling with a deep bitterness about his work and marriage. Through it all, Pilar clings to the idea of her family and tries to hold it together as her husband’s health begins to fail.

This backdrop is then shaken to its core by the historic events of 2001 in New York City. The aftermath sends shockwaves through this newly American family. Bitter conflicts erupt between siblings and the physical and cultural spaces between them threaten to tear them apart. Will their shared history and once-common dreams be enough to hold together a family from Ysleta, this wicked patch of dust?
For Héctor and Lilia, pursuit of the American Dream became every parent's worst fear when their infant daughter vanished as they crossed from Mexico to the United States—now they must try to get her back. With great empathy and a keen awareness of current events, Michel Stone delivers a novel of surpassing sensitivity and heart.

Young lovers Héctor and Lilia dreamed of a brighter future for their family in the United States. Héctor left Mexico first, to secure work and housing, but when Lilia, desperate to be with Héctor, impetuously crossed the border with their infant daughter, Alejandra, mother and child were separated. Alejandra disappeared. Now, four years later, the family has a chance to reunite, but the trauma of the past may well be permanent.
     Back in their sleepy hometown of Oaxaca, the couple enjoys a semblance of normal life, with a toddler son and another baby on the way. Then they receive an unexpected tip that might lead them to Alejandra, and both agree they must seize this chance, whatever the cost. Working increasingly illegal jobs to earn money for his journey north, Héctor seeks more information about his long-absent daughter. Meanwhile, a bedridden Lilia awaits the birth of their third child, but cannot keep herself from reliving the worst mistakes of her past. In luminous, compassionate prose, Michel Stone drops readers into the whirlwind of the contemporary immigrant experience, where a marriage is strained to the breaking point by the consequences of wanting more for the next generation.
In this "raucous, moving, and necessary" (San Francisco Chronicle) story by a Pulitzer Prize finalist, the De La Cruzes, a family on the Mexican-American border, celebrate two of their most beloved relatives during a joyous and bittersweet weekend.
National Bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist
A New York Times Notable Book / One of the Best Books of the Year from National Public Radio, American Library Association, San Francisco Chronicle, BookPage, Newsday, BuzzFeed, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Literary Hub
"All we do, mija, is love. Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death."
In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies, transforming the weekend into a farewell doubleheader. Among the guests is Big Angel's half brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life.
Across two bittersweet days in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many inspiring tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought these citizens to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home.
Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.

"Epic . . . Rambunctious . . . Highly entertaining." --New York Times Book Review
"Intimate and touching . . . the stuff of legend." --San Francisco Chronicle
"An immensely charming and moving tale." --Boston Globe
“A triumph of storytelling. Henríquez pulls us into the lives of her characters with such mastery that we hang on to them just as fiercely as they hang on to one another and their dreams. This passionate, powerful novel will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.” —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
 
A boy and a girl who fall in love. Two families whose hopes collide with destiny. An extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American.

Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she’ll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better.

When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It’s also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel’s core.

Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. Their journeys and their voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart.

Suspenseful, wry and immediate, rich in spirit and humanity, The Book of Unknown Americans is a work of rare force and originality.



This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
“In Jimmy Santiago Baca’s haunting story collection, intricate family dramas . . . play out against the luminous, wide-open backdrop of New Mexico.” —Los Angeles Times
 
In his first foray into short fiction, award-winning poet and memoirist Jimmy Santiago Baca explores the territory where old-world traditions meet new-world ambitions, and characters try to make something of themselves, while keeping their souls intact. In “Matilda’s Garden,” an old farmer pines for his wife of fifty years who died in her sleep one-night months before. He is lured to the garden in the middle of the night by what he thinks is her presence, only to meet a gruesome fate. In “The Importance of a Piece of Paper,” two siblings must face the brother who has betrayed them by selling his share of the family land, leaving an entire community vulnerable. In “The Three Sons of Julia,” a long-suffering mother whose one request is that all her sons come home for the Fourth of July, watches her dream burst as two of her sons—one a successful businessman and the other a hard-drinking ex-con—nearly destroy her house, and each other. Merging a refreshing innocence with a profound understanding of the world’s brutality, The Importance of a Piece of Paper is a daring and arresting work that is at once fearless, tender, and inspiring.
 
“[Baca] continues to mine his experience, exploring conflicts between the rich traditions of Chicano culture and a modern world impatient with them.” —Entertainment Weekly
 
“Inspirational, tragic, and redeeming . . . Baca provides moving poetic imagery and unleashes his gift for finely crafted sensory detail.” —Rocky Mountain News
A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

From the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, comes Ann Patchett’s most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are.

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

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