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The Madonnas of Echo Park

by

The Madonnas of Echo Park Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We slipped into this country like thieves, onto the land that once was ours.

With these words, spoken by an illegal Mexican day laborer, The Madonnas of Echo Park takes us into the unseen world of Los Angeles, following the men and women who cook the meals, clean the homes, and struggle to lose their ethnic identity in the pursuit of the American dream.

When a dozen or so girls and mothers gather on an Echo Park street corner to act out a scene from a Madonna music video, they find themselves caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. In the aftermath, Aurora Esperanza grows distant from her mother, Felicia, who as a housekeeper in the Hollywood Hills establishes a unique relationship with a detached housewife.

The Esperanzas' shifting lives connect with those of various members of their neighborhood. A day laborer trolls the streets for work with men half his age and witnesses a murder that pits his morality against his illegal status; a religious hypocrite gets her comeuppance when she meets the Virgin Mary at a bus stop on Sunset Boulevard; a typical bus route turns violent when cultures and egos collide in the night, with devastating results; and Aurora goes on a journey through her gentrified childhood neighborhood in a quest to discover her own history and her place in the land that all Mexican Americans dream of, the land that belongs to us again.

Like the Academy Award-winning film Crash, The Madonnas of Echo Park follows the intersections of its characters and cultures in Los Angeles. In the footsteps of Junot Diaz and Sherman Alexie, Brando Skyhorse in his debut novel gives voice to one neighborhood in Los Angeles with an astonishing — and unforgettable — lyrical power.

Review:

"Skyhorse maps in his vivid debut the spirit of L.A.'s Echo Park, where Mexican-Americans define themselves either in alignment with or in opposition to their barrio. Each story-like chapter tells the tale of a character who has grown up in, moved to, or fled Echo Park, such as an itinerant construction worker hired to dispose of a murder weapon, a woman who converses with the Virgin Mary, and a hustler who swears he's going to stay out of prison this time. These lives coalesce around a random shooting that claims the life of a young girl. Family epics also emerge, notably the story of Aurora Esperanza, whose absent father narrates the opening story and whose mother was at the center of a tragedy. Aurora herself closes out the book, drawing together threads of homecoming that weave throughout the novel. Though a few of the narrators' voices aren't distinct enough, Skyhorse excels at building a vibrant community and presenting several perspectives on what it means to be Mexican in America, from those who wonder 'how can you lose something that never belonged to you?' to those who miraculously find it. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Essential for fans of Sherman Alexie or Sandra Cisneros but with universal appeal for readers who favor in-depth character-centered stories, this is enthusiastically recommended." Library Journal (starred review)

Review:

"[V]ivid....These are the people we pass every day and never give much thought. Now Skyhorse demands our attention as he deftly humanizes their stories....Eye-opening and haunting, Skyhorse's novel will jolt readers out of their complacence." Booklist

Review:

"A literary glimpse into the often unseen world of Mexican Americans trying to make it as Americans." USA Today

Synopsis:

Heralding a new young ethnic literary talent: Skyhorse's first novel gives voice to the Mexican-American community in Echo Park, California.

Synopsis:

A novel centered on the journey of the Turner family and its thirteen siblings, particularly the eldest and youngest, as they face the ghosts of their pasts—both an actual haint and the specter of addiction—the imminent loss of their mother, and the necessary abandonment of their family home in struggling Detroit.

Synopsis:

A powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family.

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone—and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts—and shapes—their family’s future.

Already praised by Ayana Mathis as “utterly moving” and “un-putdownable,” The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It’s a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.

Synopsis:

We slipped into this country like thieves, onto the land that once was ours.

With these words, spoken by an illegal Mexican day laborer, The Madonnas of Echo Park takes us into the unseen world of Los Angeles, following the men and women who cook the meals, clean the homes, and struggle to lose their ethnic identity in the pursuit of the American dream.

When a dozen or so girls and mothers gather on an Echo Park street corner to act out a scene from a Madonna music video, they find themselves caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. In the aftermath, Aurora Esperanza grows distant from her mother, Felicia, who as a housekeeper in the Hollywood Hills establishes a unique relationship with a detached housewife.

The Esperanzas’ shifting lives connect with those of various members of their neighborhood. A day laborer trolls the streets for work with men half his age and witnesses a murder that pits his morality against his illegal status; a religious hypocrite gets her comeuppance when she meets the Virgin Mary at a bus stop on Sunset Boulevard; a typical bus route turns violent when cultures and egos collide in the night, with devastating results; and Aurora goes on a journey through her gentrified childhood neighborhood in a quest to discover her own history and her place in the land that all Mexican Americans dream of, "the land that belongs to us again." 

Like the Academy Award-winning film Crash, The Madonnas of Echo Park follows the intersections of its characters and cultures in Los Angeles. In the footsteps of Junot DÍaz and Sherman Alexie, Brando Skyhorse in his debut novel gives voice to one neighborhood in Los Angeles with an astonishing— and unforgettable—lyrical power.

About the Author

Born and raised in Echo Park, CA, Brando Skyhorse is a graduate of Stanford University and the MFA Writers' Workshop program at UC Irvine. For the past ten years he has worked in New York publishing. His next book, also forthcoming from Free Press, is a memoir about growing up with five stepfathers.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781439170809
Author:
Skyhorse, Brando
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author:
Flournoy, Angela
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Mexican americans
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
20150414
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Madonnas of Echo Park Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Free Press - English 9781439170809 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Skyhorse maps in his vivid debut the spirit of L.A.'s Echo Park, where Mexican-Americans define themselves either in alignment with or in opposition to their barrio. Each story-like chapter tells the tale of a character who has grown up in, moved to, or fled Echo Park, such as an itinerant construction worker hired to dispose of a murder weapon, a woman who converses with the Virgin Mary, and a hustler who swears he's going to stay out of prison this time. These lives coalesce around a random shooting that claims the life of a young girl. Family epics also emerge, notably the story of Aurora Esperanza, whose absent father narrates the opening story and whose mother was at the center of a tragedy. Aurora herself closes out the book, drawing together threads of homecoming that weave throughout the novel. Though a few of the narrators' voices aren't distinct enough, Skyhorse excels at building a vibrant community and presenting several perspectives on what it means to be Mexican in America, from those who wonder 'how can you lose something that never belonged to you?' to those who miraculously find it. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Essential for fans of Sherman Alexie or Sandra Cisneros but with universal appeal for readers who favor in-depth character-centered stories, this is enthusiastically recommended."
"Review" by , "[V]ivid....These are the people we pass every day and never give much thought. Now Skyhorse demands our attention as he deftly humanizes their stories....Eye-opening and haunting, Skyhorse's novel will jolt readers out of their complacence."
"Review" by , "A literary glimpse into the often unseen world of Mexican Americans trying to make it as Americans."
"Synopsis" by , Heralding a new young ethnic literary talent: Skyhorse's first novel gives voice to the Mexican-American community in Echo Park, California.
"Synopsis" by , A novel centered on the journey of the Turner family and its thirteen siblings, particularly the eldest and youngest, as they face the ghosts of their pasts—both an actual haint and the specter of addiction—the imminent loss of their mother, and the necessary abandonment of their family home in struggling Detroit.
"Synopsis" by ,
A powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family.

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone—and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts—and shapes—their family’s future.

Already praised by Ayana Mathis as “utterly moving” and “un-putdownable,” The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It’s a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.

"Synopsis" by , We slipped into this country like thieves, onto the land that once was ours.

With these words, spoken by an illegal Mexican day laborer, The Madonnas of Echo Park takes us into the unseen world of Los Angeles, following the men and women who cook the meals, clean the homes, and struggle to lose their ethnic identity in the pursuit of the American dream.

When a dozen or so girls and mothers gather on an Echo Park street corner to act out a scene from a Madonna music video, they find themselves caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. In the aftermath, Aurora Esperanza grows distant from her mother, Felicia, who as a housekeeper in the Hollywood Hills establishes a unique relationship with a detached housewife.

The Esperanzas’ shifting lives connect with those of various members of their neighborhood. A day laborer trolls the streets for work with men half his age and witnesses a murder that pits his morality against his illegal status; a religious hypocrite gets her comeuppance when she meets the Virgin Mary at a bus stop on Sunset Boulevard; a typical bus route turns violent when cultures and egos collide in the night, with devastating results; and Aurora goes on a journey through her gentrified childhood neighborhood in a quest to discover her own history and her place in the land that all Mexican Americans dream of, "the land that belongs to us again." 

Like the Academy Award-winning film Crash, The Madonnas of Echo Park follows the intersections of its characters and cultures in Los Angeles. In the footsteps of Junot DÍaz and Sherman Alexie, Brando Skyhorse in his debut novel gives voice to one neighborhood in Los Angeles with an astonishing— and unforgettable—lyrical power.

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