Essays on Freedom
CD - unabridged
Audio (6 discs)
Product Number: BN14963
Released: Oct 29, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781978683143
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
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From Cinelle Barnes, author of the memoir Monsoon Mansion, comes a moving and reflective essay collection about finding freedom in America. Out of a harrowing childhood in the Philippines, Cinelle Barnes emerged triumphant. But as an undocumented teenager living in New York, her journey of self-discovery was just beginning. Because she couldn't get a driver's license or file taxes, Cinelle worked as a cleaning lady and a nanny and took other odd jobs-and learned to look over her shoulder, hoping she wouldn't get caught. When she falls in love and marries a white man from the South, Cinelle finds herself trying to adjust to the thorny underbelly of "southern hospitality" while dealing with being a new mother, an immigrant affected by PTSD, and a woman with a brown body in a profoundly white world. From her immigration to the United States, to navigating a broken legal system, to balancing assimilation and a sense of self, Cinelle comes to rely on her resilience and her faith in the human spirit to survive and come of age all over again. Lyrical, emotionally driven, and told through stories both lived and overheard, Cinelle's intensely personal, yet universal, exploration of race, class, and identity redefines what it means to be a woman-and an American-in a divided country.

Professional reviews

"Cinelle Barnes's tender narration of her immigration experience contrasts with her arduous journey from the Philippines to legal status in the U.S. Despite her luxurious lifestyle at home, she became an illegal immigrant in this country. She recounts how her failed adoption led to her being undocumented and to working a variety of jobs such as nanny, cleaner, and cafŽ hostess, among others. For years, she evaded the law until she met her husband and finally gained citizenship. But even then, she still had to wrestle with harrowing childhood memories. Barnes switches accents skillfully--Filipino, American, and even Spanish--but her Southern American accent underwhelms. Nonetheless, these well-paced, fluid, and compelling essays on survival, identity, and belonging will engage listeners. A.C. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"