Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA
The quinceañera, the fifteenth birthday celebration for a Latina girl, is quickly becoming an American event. This legendary party is a sight to behold: lavish ball gowns, extravagant catered meals, DJs, limousines, and multi-tiered cakes. The...more
Note: This was a book that I received from a member of
and so disappointed after reading it. i felt like this was two or three books in one. i was expecting more about actual quinceaneras and why they are tradiation. the last 100 pages or so is all about julia alvarez's life- having nothing to do with quinces. it was as if she ran out of material so started her own biography.
she also ends with qu...more
I really enjoyed this book, the second I've read by Alvarez. (The first was her first novel which I didn't know was an autobiographical account until some details early on in this book connected it for me.)Much more than just a historical account of quinceañeras, Alvarez explores the present day tradition noting how it has changed/is changing as elements of American culture were/are infused with it and seeks to discover the impact quinceañeras have on girls.
Reflecting on the interviews with quin...more
In this rite of passage, many families spare no expense to create a lavish celebration, even when it is a financial burden. Alvarez writes very thoughtfully about the cultural i...more
There were passages when I felt something...more
I really liked getting a closer look at this fascinating tradition, but I also found it frustrating...more
When my husband took ESL classes at BYU-Hawaii, one gringo teacher prefaced his lesson on American essay structure by comparing it to the Asian and Latin structures and declaring the American essay superior. (Eddie had problems in this class, not surprisingly.) The teacher graphically represented the Latin structure as a spiral and the American structure as a flawless straight line - which I would like to argue with him over. This book was written in true spiral format, wandering through Latin n...more
I can make a text to self connection with this book. I understand why the girls who are having the quincanera's really want a big, lavish party, beca...more
This book followed the author as she spent a year attending quinceaneras, researching the underlying traditions, and reflecting on her own upbringing as an immigrant caught between two cultures - not only her Dominican Republic heritage and new American culture but also the tr...more
In the opening of the book she says she went to quinces in Lawrence, Mass. but never describes them. And she only devotes a small chapter to the "hurricane" quince in San Antonio. Disappointing at best.
This is a book that will only appeal to teen girls, and probably initially to Latinas, even thought the author addressed the social custom of coming-of-age parties, whether they are quinces or sweet sixteens. It's a bit too scholarly in tone and there's more information on the author's own childhood which doesn't g...more
She is currently writer-in-residence at Middlebury College and the owner of a coffee farm named Alta Gracia, near Jarabacoa in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. The farm hosts a school to teach l...more