Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a "phenomenal, indispensable" (USA Today) exploration of the Latina "sweet fifteen" celebration, by the bestselling author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of Butterflies. The quinceaNera, a celebration of a Latina girl's fifteenth birthday, has become a uniquely American trend. This lavish party with ball gowns, multi-tiered cakes, limousines, and extravagant meals is often as costly as a prom or a wedding. But many Latina girls feel entitled to this rite of passage, marking a girl's entrance into womanhood, and expect no expense to be spared, even in working-class families. Acclaimed author Julia Alvarez explores the history and cultural significance of the "quince" in the United States, and the consequences of treating teens like princesses. Through her observations of a quince in Queens, interviews with other quince girls, and the memories of her own experience as a young immigrant, Alvarez presents a thoughtful and entertaining portrait of a rapidly growing multicultural phenomenon, and passionately emphasizes the importance of celebrating Latina womanhood.
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by Julia Alvarez
by Sergio Alvarez
by Manny Alvarez
by Julia Quinn
by Julia London
by Julia Holmes
"Alvarez's book originally meant to cover the celebration rituals of a specific 15-year-old Latina. Soon, however, the author found herself remembering her own adolescent experience and looking at how the coming-of-age experience fits into American culture in general. The result is a detailed blend of social science and memoir. While the book focuses on one specific quinceanera--from the dreaming and planning stages of her celebration to the actual event--Alvarez also interviews many other 15-year-old girls, as well as investigates historical precedents for the celebration, its religious aspects, and its cultural offshoots, such as quinceanera entrepreneurs. As Alvarez shifts topics, Daphne Rubin-Vega helps provide much needed continuity. Rubin-Vega easily shifts between English and Spanish, slips in and out of quotes and anecdotes, and smoothly narrates the research and cultural commentary. S.W. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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