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The Amado Women
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Published:
Cinco Puntos Press 2014
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Description

Southern California is ground zero for upwardly mobile middle-class Latinas. Matriarchs like Mercy Amado—despite her drunken, philandering (now ex-) husband—could raise three daughters and become a teacher. Now she watches helplessly as her daughters drift apart as adults. The Latino bonds of familia don't seem to hold. Celeste, the oldest daughter who won't speak to the youngest, is fiercely intelligent and proud. She has fled the uncertainty of her growing up in Los Angeles, California, to seek financial independence in San Jose. Her sisters did the same thing but very differently. Sylvia married a rich but abusive Anglo, and, to hide away, she immersed herself in the suburbia of her two young daughters. And Nataly, the baby, went very hip into the free-spirited Latino art world, working on her textile creations during the day and waiting on tables in an upscale restaurant by night. Everything they know comes crashing down in a random tragic moment and Mercy must somehow make what was broken whole again.

Désirée Zamorano says that she was taken aback by the negative reaction to Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark. And she is appalled by stereotypical rendering of Latinas in mainstream literature, saying that true-to-life middle-class Latinas are invisible in the fabric of American culture. Zamorano is a playwright, Pushcart Prize nominee for fiction, and the director of the Community Literacy Center at Occidental College. She also collaborates with InsideOut Writers, a program that works with formerly incarcerated youth. She lives in Pasadena, California. Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark. And she is appalled by stereotypical rendering of Latinas in mainstream literature, saying that true-to-life middle-class Latinas are invisible in the fabric of American culture. Zamorano is a playwright, Pushcart Prize nominee for fiction, and the director of the Community Literacy Center at Occidental College. She also collaborates with InsideOut Writers, a program that works with formerly incarcerated youth. She lives in Pasadena, California.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/09/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781935955740
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Désirée Zamorano. (2014). The Amado Women. Cinco Puntos Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Désirée Zamorano. 2014. The Amado Women. Cinco Puntos Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Désirée Zamorano, The Amado Women. Cinco Puntos Press, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Désirée Zamorano. The Amado Women. Cinco Puntos Press, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Désirée Zamorano is a playwright, Pushcart Prize nominee, and novelist. She is the director of the the Community Literacy Center at Occidental College; she also collaborates with InsideOut Writers, a program that works with formerly incarcerated youth. She lives in Pasadena, California. The Amado Women is her first trade-published novel.

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shortDescription

Southern California is ground zero for upwardly mobile middle-class Latinas. Matriarchs like Mercy Amado—despite her drunken, philandering (now ex-) husband—could raise three daughters and become a teacher. Now she watches helplessly as her daughters drift apart as adults. The Latino bonds of familia don't seem to hold. Celeste, the oldest daughter who won't speak to the youngest, is fiercely intelligent and proud. She has fled the uncertainty of her growing up in Los Angeles, California, to seek financial independence in San Jose. Her sisters did the same thing but very differently. Sylvia married a rich but abusive Anglo, and, to hide away, she immersed herself in the suburbia of her two young daughters. And Nataly, the baby, went very hip into the free-spirited Latino art world, working on her textile creations during the day and waiting on tables in an upscale restaurant by night. Everything they know comes crashing down in a random tragic moment and...

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title
The Amado Women
fullDescription

Southern California is ground zero for upwardly mobile middle-class Latinas. Matriarchs like Mercy Amado—despite her drunken, philandering (now ex-) husband—could raise three daughters and become a teacher. Now she watches helplessly as her daughters drift apart as adults. The Latino bonds of familia don't seem to hold. Celeste, the oldest daughter who won't speak to the youngest, is fiercely intelligent and proud. She has fled the uncertainty of her growing up in Los Angeles, California, to seek financial independence in San Jose. Her sisters did the same thing but very differently. Sylvia married a rich but abusive Anglo, and, to hide away, she immersed herself in the suburbia of her two young daughters. And Nataly, the baby, went very hip into the free-spirited Latino art world, working on her textile creations during the day and waiting on tables in an upscale restaurant by night. Everything they know comes crashing down in a random tragic moment and Mercy must somehow make what was broken whole again.

Désirée Zamorano says that she was taken aback by the negative reaction to Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark. And she is appalled by stereotypical rendering of Latinas in mainstream literature, saying that true-to-life middle-class Latinas are invisible in the fabric of American culture. Zamorano is a playwright, Pushcart Prize nominee for fiction, and the director of the Community Literacy Center at Occidental College. She also collaborates with InsideOut Writers, a program that works with formerly incarcerated youth. She lives in Pasadena, California. Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark. And she is appalled by stereotypical rendering of Latinas in mainstream literature, saying that true-to-life middle-class Latinas are invisible in the fabric of American culture. Zamorano is a playwright, Pushcart Prize nominee for fiction, and the director of the Community Literacy Center at Occidental College. She also collaborates with InsideOut Writers, a program that works with formerly incarcerated youth. She lives in Pasadena, California.

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 28, 2014
        Debut novelist Zamorano's family drama purports to offer alternatives to Latina stereotypes, but winds up relying on shallow characterizations and easy targets. The three Amado sisters couldn't be more different: career-driven Celeste has been focused solely on money and investments ever since she suffered a tragedy years before; perfect wife and mother Sylvia secretly suffers physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her non-Latino husband; and Nataly, the baby sister, struggles to make ends meet as an artist and waitress. As the sisters rally around a crisis affecting Sylvia's family, individual and family secrets are dredged up, including a feud between Nataly and Celeste and a long-buried sorrow from their mother Mercy's past. The narration proceeds somewhat jerkily between past and present and among the women's points of view. There is little character development here, and characters' motivations are frequently unclear and their behaviors unexplained. Most troubling, however, is that this novel supposedly valorizing girl power does so at the expense of all of the male characters, who are, to a man, cruel, unfaithful, duplicitous, or all three.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 15, 2014
        A Latino mother and her growndaughters demonstrate the meaning of family loyalty in Zamorano's debut.The Amado women represent a mixture of traditionaland modern values, and each defines her life by a set of complex rules. Mercyhas spent years church-hopping in an attempt to seek answers to questions offaith rising from a long-buried childhood incident. Once married to a drunkenphilanderer, she shrugged aside hardship to pursue her life's calling-teaching-and waited until her daughters were grown before leaving their father. Oldestdaughter Celeste is a successful investment manager whose early pregnancy andsubsequent marriage interrupted the promise of acceptance at any number of IvyLeague colleges. Now divorced, she lives in self-imposed exile in a differentCalifornia city from her family, and she and her youngest sister, Nataly, areestranged. Nataly suffers from issues of abandonment and supports herself as awaitress to fund her true calling, art, and refuses to talk to her sister.Given the history of her father's infidelity, she's alarmed to find herselfattracted to an older married man. Middle daughter Sylvia appears to be themost settled of the siblings. From the exterior, life with her up-and-cominghusband and two young daughters looks perfect. But Jack's a self-centeredabuser with little conscience whose actions threaten to further harm his wifeand girls. When a family emergency looms, the Amado women attempt to skirttheir personal differences to provide assistance, but those barriers aren'tcompletely removed until an even larger crisis occurs.Zamorano provides a compassionateportrait of a family pushing difficulties aside to help each other; however, despite the author's attempt to engage readers with multiple plotcomplications, the book is curiously flat.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 1, 2014

        This debut novel begins with Sylvia, an attractive mother of two living in a wealthy Southern California suburb, being beaten up by her jerk of a husband. Sylvia's mother, Mercedes (called Mercy), is a stylish, divorced woman of 60 whose ex-husband is a lying, cheating, hard-drinking loser, and each of her three grown daughters has problems as well. (Likable men in this novel are few and far between.) Youngest daughter Nataly is a free-spirited artist who at 32 still acts like a teenager and has a thing for bad boys. Now middle-aged, Celeste is a successful financial manager but has unresolved issues. And poor Sylvia. Will she be able to break free of her viciously abusive husband and save herself and her children? As readers will see, there are further problems in store for this troubled family. VERDICT Zamorano says she wanted to portray the life of "the invisible Latina," but this novel will appeal to female readers of any ethnic background who enjoy a fast-paced story with lots of family drama and strong characters who overcome bad relationships and the other adversities life hands them.--Leslie Patterson, Rehoboth, MA

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2014
        For 60-year-old Mercy Amado, memory is an elaborate quilt piecing together the story of her immigrant mother and the accidental death of her younger, invalid brother while under Mercy's care. Throughout Zamorano's provocative novel, quilts and blankets continually remind the resourceful matriarch of her California family. Her three adult daughters are successful, middle-class Latinas who, nevertheless, struggle with ambition and wildly disappointing men. Nataly, the youngest, is a textile artist who literally weaves the family's complications into her work. Celeste, the oldest, is a brilliant financier who mourns a stillborn daughter. But sister Sylvia lives the closest to peril, despite a seemingly settled life in suburbia with her husband and two young daughters. After a tragedy, Mercy and her family must scramble to help reassemble daily life for the next generation of females. Zamorano weaves in lighter moments with meditations on the women's emotional and cultural inheritances. Why do we expect so much from our parents? an exhausted Mercy wonders. They're just as stupid and ignorant of the grand scheme of things as we are.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

popularity
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publisher
Cinco Puntos Press
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      • description: Fiction / Literary
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      • description: Fiction / Contemporary Women
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      • description: FICTION / Hispanic & Latino / General