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Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
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Caramelo

by Sandra Cisneros

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1,262246,267 (3.59)57
Recently added byGypc, BCTG, MCA-CCC, private library, Stormydawnc, acjos, marthaearly, CGWSAS
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    Behind the Mountains (First Person Fiction) by Edwidge Danticat (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both books have a similar feeling of a young girl who is too young to understand the events unfolding around her.
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English (20)  Dutch (3)  All languages (23)
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Glorious! Full of color and life, the story of Mexican-American Celaya/Lala's entrance into womanhood has a wealth of smart and resonant observations on culture, gender and all humankind. ( )
  marthaearly | Jun 6, 2014 |
Snippets of life in the Reyes, strung together into a story. I loved the family pet names that emerged: Awful Grandmother, Little Grandfather, Auntie Lightskin, and all the variants of other names sprinkled throughout. The book was inspired by the author's Mexican heritage and childhood in Chicago. Each summer, her family (her own family and that of her two uncles) caravaned to visit her grandparents in Mexico City. The book is supposedly semi-autobiographical, but the vignettes, whether real or fictional, are interesting, amusing, and have a ring of verity about them. ( )
  bookczuk | Oct 27, 2013 |
Apart from what seemed to be the theme of the book - that women are slaves to men's passions and their lives will always be tossed like corks on the sea of masculine whimsy - it was pretty good. No-one seemed to be happy, though. ( )
  veracite | Apr 7, 2013 |
To write is to ask questions. It doesn't matter if the answers are true or puro cuento.

Sandra Cisneros explores themes of identity, family, memory, perception, nationality, ethnicity, immigration, and gender issues through the eyes of Celaya Reyes (“Lala”), a young Mexican American girl growing up in the post-World War II era. Lala's father was born in Mexico. Lala and her brother were born in the U.S., but spend their summers with her father's parents in Mexico City. No matter where she is – Mexico, Chicago, or San Antonio - Lala is conscious of her status as an outsider. She doesn't even have a place at home. In Chicago, she sleeps on a recliner in the living room, while in Mexico, she sleeps in her parents' room. When her father tells people he has seven “hijos”, Lala hears him claiming seven “sons”. She knows she is her father's favorite child, yet she still feels like daughters don't count in his worldview.

There are layers of story within the novel. Even the names of characters and places tell a story. Self-absorbed Narciso and his lonely wife Soledad make their home on Destiny Street. Narciso and Soledad are distant cousins and share the name Reyes (“King”). Lala's father, a Reyes, marries a Reyna (“Queen”).

In the middle portion of the book, Lala tells her grandmother's story. She interprets Mexican history through experiences in the lives of members of her family. In some ways, it reminds me of what Rushdie does with the history of India and Pakistan in Midnight's Children.

Cisneros uses endnotes as a device in many of the chapters, and some of the notes are quite lengthy. I don't think the format would easily translate into an e-book, and that probably explains why it doesn't seem to be available in that format.

Caramelo is a book to savor, and one I won't soon forget. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | May 9, 2011 |
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We're all in the photograph above Father's bed. We were little in Acapulco. We will always be little.
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Sandra Cisneros è nata a Chicago nel 1954 da padre messicano e madre chicana, terza di sette fratelli e unica figlia. Attualmente vive a San Antonio, in Texas. E’ considerata una delle maggiori scrittrici di letteratura chicana e portavoce di spicco degli immigrati messicani negli Stati Uniti.
Oltre a numerosi saggi e articoli per giornali e riviste, è autrice del romanzo bestseller La casa di Mango Street, di tre libri di poesie Bad Boys, My Wicked Wicked Ways e Loose Woman, una raccolta di racconti Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, un libro per bambini Hairs/Pelitos. Molti dei suoi racconti o estratti delle sue opere sono stati pubblicati in antologie e volumi di storia della letteratura. Ha anche lavorato nelle scuole superiori come insegnante e assistente scolastica, ha tenuto corsi di scrittura creativa e un ciclo di conferenze presso l’Università della California a Berkeley.
Numerosi e significativi riconoscimenti costellano la sua carriera, tra questi la prestigiosa borsa di studio della MacArthur Foundation nel 1995; il premio Texas Medal of the Arts nel 2003; una laurea ad honorem in Studi Umanistici dall’Università Loyola di Chicago nel 2002 e un’altra in Lettere dall’Università Statale di New York nel l993; due borse di studio dal National Endowment of the Arts per la narrativa e la poesia.
I suoi libri sono stati tradotti in più di dodici lingue tra cui spagnolo, francese, tedesco, italiano, olandese, norvegese, giapponese, cinese, turco e, recentemente, greco, thai e serbo-croato.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679742581, Paperback)

Caramelo, Sandra Cisneros's first novel since her celebrated The House on Mango Street, weaves a large yet intricate pattern, much like the decorative fringe on a rebozo, the traditional Mexican shawl. Through the eyes of young Celaya, or Lala, the Reyes family saga twists and turns over three generations of truths, half-truths, and outright lies. And, like Celaya's grandmother's prized caramelo (striped) rebozo, so is "the universe a cloth, and all humanity interwoven.... Pull one string and the whole thing comes undone." The Reyes clan, from Awful Grandmother Soledad and her favorite son Inocencio to Celaya, follow their destinies from Mexico City to the U.S. armed forces, jobs upholstering furniture, and to Chicago and San Antonio. Celaya gathers and retells, in over 80 chapters, the stories that reinforce her family's, and subsequently her own, identity as they travel between the U.S.-Mexican border and within the United States. Rich with sensory descriptions and animated conversations and peppered with Mexican cultural and historical details, this novel can hardly contain itself. Also an acclaimed poet, Cisneros writes fiercely and thoroughly, and her characters enter and exit the page with uncommon humanity. Although the book is long--over 400 pages plus a relevant U.S.-Mexico chronology--in many ways it's not long enough. The world of the 20th-century Mexican family, and of the Reyeses in particular, is as complicated, timeless, and satisfying as our own family stories. --Emily Russin

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:06 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

During her family's annual car trip from Chicago to Mexico City, Lala Reyes listens to stories about her family, including her grandmother, the descendant of famous shawl makers, one of which has come into Lala's possession.

» see all 4 descriptions

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