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“A powerful memoir, heart-wrenching, inspiring, thoroughly engrossing, reminiscent of Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and more recently Tara Westover’s Educated. Through one family’s story, we learn about challenges of poverty, migration, uprootedness, addiction, sexism, racism but also about the triumphant, spirited storyteller who survives to tell the tale.”
—Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies

Acclaimed essayist Jaquira Díaz writes an unflinching account of growing up in the '80s in Puerto Rico and Miami as a queer, biracial girl searching for home as her family splits apart and her mother struggles with mental illness and addiction. As Díaz tells the story of her own struggles with depression and drug abuse and her experiences of violence woven in with Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page vibrates with music and lyricism. Ordinary Girls is a fiercely passionate, groundbreaking memoir about girlhood in a dangerous world, about how we’re not defined by the worst things we’ve ever done, and about surviving, even as we’re losing the people we love. 

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Jaquira Díaz headshot

Jaquira Díaz

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Review quotes
“A powerful memoir, heart-wrenching, inspiring, thoroughly engrossing, reminiscent of Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and more recently Tara Westover’s Educated. Through one family’s story, we learn about challenges of poverty, migration, uprootedness, addiction, sexism, racismbut also about the triumphant, spirited storyteller who survives to tell the tale. Jaquira Díaz is our contemporary Scheherazade, telling stories to keep herself alive and whole, and us her readers mesmerized and wanting more. And we get it: there is more life packed on each page of Ordinary Girls than some lives hold in a lifetime.”
—Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies
 
Product Details
Categories
Number of pages
256
Publication date
October 29, 2019
ISBN
9781616209131