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Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo
Cover of Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo
Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo
A Story in English and Spanish
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The celebrated bestselling author of The House on Mango Street “is back with her first work of fiction in almost a decade, a story of memory and friendship [and] the experiences young women...
The celebrated bestselling author of The House on Mango Street “is back with her first work of fiction in almost a decade, a story of memory and friendship [and] the experiences young women...
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Description-

  • The celebrated bestselling author of The House on Mango Street “is back with her first work of fiction in almost a decade, a story of memory and friendship [and] the experiences young women endure as immigrants worldwide” (AP). In this masterfully written dual-language edition, a long-forgotten letter sets off a charged encounter with the past.
     
    As a young woman, Corina leaves her Mexican family in Chicago to pursue her dream of becoming a writer in the cafés of Paris. Instead, she spends her brief time in the City of Light running out of money and lining up with other immigrants to call home from a broken pay phone. But the months of befriending panhandling artists in the métro, sleeping on crowded floors, and dancing the tango at underground parties are given a lasting glow by her intense friendships with Martita and Paola. Over the years the three women disperse to three continents, falling out of touch and out of...

About the Author-

  • Poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist and artist, SANDRA CISNEROS is the author of Bad BoysMy Wicked Wicked Ways, Loose WomanWoman Hollering Creek and Other StoriesThe House on Mango StreetCarameloHave You Seen Marie?, Vintage Cisneros—a compilation of her works— and BravoBruno. Her most recent books are A House of My OwnStories from My Life, which is illustrated with photographs, and Puro Amor in a dual-language edition translated by Liliana Valenzuela and featuring illustrations by the author. Born in Chicago in 1954, she is a citizen of both the United States and Mexico. She makes her living by her pen.

Reviews-

  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2021
    Concentration is an art form for Cisneros. Every word is a skipped stone creating ripples in its wake, every image vibrates with implication. In this welcome and vital return to fiction, Cisneros, beloved by readers and the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, portrays three adventurous young women seeking their fortunes in Paris. Memories of this interlude in her life surface as Corina scrapes "a hundred and six years of varnish like layers of honey-drenched phyllo" from a dining room hutch in a Chicago three-flat. She is prompted to retrieve and open a box of letters from those long-ago allies who befriended her on her quest to become a writer, and soon Martita of Buenos Aires and Paola of northern Italy come to life as they navigate family pressure, poverty, and unwanted sexual advances in pursuit of independence and fulfillment. Mexican American Corina's reflections on her harrowing experiences, including living with two busking puppeteers and the racism of Parisians, alternate with missives from Martita and Paola charting the meandering paths of their lives after Corina left Paris. Every heart-revving scene is sensuously and incisively rendered, cohering into a vivid, tender, funny, bittersweet, and haunting episodic tale of peril, courage, concession, selfhood, and friendship. Cisneros' intricately multidimensional and beautifully enveloping novella is presented in both English and Spanish.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A new book from Cisneros is guaranteed to generate impassioned interest, and this vibrant novella will be much discussed.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 26, 2021
    In this bilingual edition (written originally in English and translated into Spanish by Liliana Valenzuela) of Cisneros’s exquisite story (after Puro Amor), a woman relives her time in Paris two decades earlier via a cache of discovered letters. At 20, Corina aspires to become a writer and escape her poor Mexican Chicago family, prompting her to travel to Paris. She meets Marta, from Chile, and Paola, from Italy, and mingles with artists, dancers, and performers. She stretches her money to stay longer, realizing, “I can’t go home yet. Because home is bus stops and drugstore windows, elastic bandages and hairpins, plastic ballpoints, felt bunion pads, tweezers, rat poison, cold sore ointment, mothballs, drain cleaners, deodorant.” Back in Chicago, she holds onto a photo of herself with Marta and Paola, but swiftly loses touch with them. Decades later, she discovers a letter from Marta sent shortly after she’d left, suggesting they meet in Spain, “in case you’re still traveling.” Corina speaks to Marta in her thoughts and gives the rundown of her life: divorced, remarried, two daughters. Cisneros’s language and rhythm of her prose reverberate with Corina’s longing for her youth and unfulfilled promise. The author’s fans will treasure this. Agent: Susan Bergholz, Susan Bergholz Literary. (Sept.)Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly stated this book was translated from the Spanish into English.

  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2021
    A Chicago woman discovers old letters from a long-lost friend she'd met as a young adult in Paris, leading her to recall friendships forged in the yearning days of her youth. When Corina unearths a pack of letters from her friend Martita as she renovates her house, she recalls her time as a 20-year-old with Martita and Paola among the out-of-reach glamour of Paris, where they bonded over their shared poverty and dreams to do better for themselves. Corina is waiting for a letter of acceptance from a French art foundation as her money disappears, hoping it arrives before she's forced to go home to Chicago. Paola, from Italy, and Marta, from Buenos Aires, both let Corina stay with them in their own less-than-desirable living situations, and they walk around the glittering streets, looking but unable to access most of what they see, still holding onto their determination to partake of what they can with joie de vivre. We glean snippets of Corina's life back home: Her father disapproving of her choices, her family making tamales in an assembly line for Christmas. When Corina finds herself back in Chicago, working at the gas company and married with children, pieces of Martita's and Paola's further adventures are detailed in their letters. Tightly written, unfolding in a controlled spool of memory, the story is told in a combination of correspondence and narrative vignettes; its length is closer to that of a long short story but it works as a stand-alone volume, especially as it's paired with its Spanish version. A tale both beautiful and brief.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    August 27, 2021

    In this beautiful remembrance of things past, the discovery of a misplaced letter prompts memories of youthful adventures that three friends shared in the City of Light. In this case, Corina recalls her friendship with Martita and Paola during their time together in Paris, exploring caf�s, meeting new people (especially other artists and writers), and pursuing their individual dreams. Though it's been decades since the friends roamed Parisian streets, Corina (Puffina to her friends) rereads all their letters, reliving these luscious moments even as she remains resigned to the reality that her dreams did not come true. In this short work, Cisneros (The House on Mango Street; A House of My Own) draws upon her considerable talents as both a novelist/storyteller and a poet to expertly structure her novella, contrasting the joyful and carefree (or careless) nature of the youthful Puffina with the responsible, mature, almost stoic Corina, who is finishing the laborious task of stripping varnish in the Chicago apartment she shares with her husband, Richard, a man whom she loves but with whom she is not in love VERDICT This bilingual edition sparkles with life even as it exudes the poignancy and bittersweet reminiscences of the dreams that eventually eluded Corina. Recommended for most fiction collections. --Faye Chadwell, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo
Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo
A Story in English and Spanish
Sandra Cisneros
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Sandra Cisneros
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