New Books 1/21/15


“The unknown Americans of Cristina Henríquez‘s novel are Hispanic tenants of a run-down apartment building in a down-at-heel Delaware town. In particular, the novel centres on Maribel Rivera, a teenage girl with a severe brain injury. Her parents have left a comfortable life in Mexico, hoping that American special-needs education will restore their only child to her former self. The story of the poverty and isolation they find is told from two points of view: that of Maribel’s mother, Alma, and of Mayor, a lonely neighbour boy who falls in love with Maribel.” –The Guardian




“Darling’s corner of Zimbabwe, which she prowls with a mischievous gang of children called Bastard, Chipo, Godknows, Sbho and Stina, is a study in contrasts, turning each day into an adventure. There is Darling’s Paradise, a collection of shacks whose residents have been beaten down by a hard life in a country with little concern for the small man. Then there is Budapest, a neighboring community where whites and rich Africans live in big, solid houses with all the amenities of the industrialized world. Its guava trees prove impossibly tempting to Darling and her friends, who steal the fruit both to feed their hunger and to enjoy a thrilling, if fleeting, sense of power.” –The New York Times