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The House of Broken Angels
by Luis Alberto Urrea


Overview - The definitive Mexican-American immigrant story, at once intimate and epic, from an acclaimed storyteller.

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel De La Cruz, known affectionately as Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party.  Read more...


 
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More About The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
 
 
 
Overview
The definitive Mexican-American immigrant story, at once intimate and epic, from an acclaimed storyteller.

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel De La Cruz, known affectionately as Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader. Across one bittersweet weekend 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 tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought them to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home.The story of the De La Cruzes is the American story. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and it cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780316154888
  • ISBN-10: 0316154881
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: March 2018
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Cultural Heritage
Books > Fiction > Hispanic & Latino
Books > Fiction > Family Life - General

 
BookPage Reviews

Come together to remember

BookPage Top Pick in Fiction, March 2018

Given the fractures that mark the history of the United States and the many immigrants who call this nation home, it’s not particularly surprising that so much of American storytelling gravitates toward the familial, seeks shelter in that blood-bound country within the country. What has been said best about American life in the realm of fiction has often been said through the prism of the American family.

It is squarely through the door of the familial that Luis Alberto Urrea’s dizzying new novel, The House of Broken Angels, enters the pantheon and takes its rightful place alongside the best contemporary accounting of what it means to belong in this country of endless otherness.

The novel takes place both in chronological time and in violation of it. It follows the de la Cruz clan, “an American family, which happens to be from Mexico.” The family’s eldest, Mamá América, has died. Her son, the family patriarch Miguel Angel de la Cruz, is also dying, but he attempts to ward off death long enough to organize back-to-back family gatherings: his mother’s funeral and his own final birthday party. The narrative—sometimes bittersweet, sometimes uproarious—swoops between these two events and the personal histories of their attendees.

Urrea writes in exhilarating but controlled slashes, wielding a machete that cuts like a scalpel. Every page comes alive with scent, taste and, perhaps most movingly, touch. The novel’s most affecting characters are passing through the tail end of life. They carry the burden of a shared history, and in this way their smallest, most delicate interactions—the brush of a hand, the sight of scarred and sagging skin—are alive with the weight of all that once was. The House of Broken Angels is about a quintessentially American family, a family that came north looking for heaven but found that “heaven was a blueprint.” But it’s also about what it means to look back on a life and, with total honesty, take stock.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Urrea for The House of Broken Angels.

This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews