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The women profiled in this book are Caribbean, Mexican, Central American, and South American. These first-, second-, and third-generation Latinas have all grappled with the experience of coming of age within not one but two cultures that of the United States, and that of their familial homelands.
"Hijas Americanas" addresses experiences that are uniquely female and Latin, focusing on themes of body image, standards of beauty, ethnic identity, and sexuality. In doing so, Molinary gives voice to the struggles and successes of Latinas across racial, sexual, and cultural identities, emphasizing that the challenges inherent in growing up between two cultures can positively shape Latinas' lives."
- ISBN-13: 9781580051897
- ISBN-10: 1580051898
- Publisher: Seal Press (CA)
- Publish Date: April 2007
- Page Count: 327
- Dimensions: 8.31 x 5.63 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.82 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 44.
- Review Date: 2007-04-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Young Latinas grow up dealing with two, often conflicting, sets of expectations about how they should look, how they should act and how they should dream, points out Molinary, a poet, teacher and first-generation Latina born to Puerto-Rican parents, in this study. Drawing on the responses of more than 500 women who answered an extensive survey, Molinary lays out the most pressing tensions and obstacles for Latinas around issues like body image, religion and sexuality. In chapters titled “Turning Gringa” and “How Latina Are You?” she weaves together her own stories with the anecdotes of her survey respondents. The extensive quoting of other Latinas imbues the book with an honesty that will likely be appreciated by young readers. However, Molinary often overuses these voices, which drown the narrative structure. At its best, the book is a pastiche of honest and emotional insights that come together to reveal a shared experience. At its worst, it comes off like a sloppily prepared sociological report, with little storytelling finesse. Though more suited to skimming than reading straight through, the book is likely to be a source of comfort for many young Latinas. (June)