Synopses & Reviews
When his father died, Harrison Candelaria Fletcher wasnand#8217;t quite two. His mother packed up his fatherand#8217;s belongings, put the boxes in a hall closet, and closed the door. The and#8220;man in a boxand#8221; remained a mystery, hardly mentioned, and making only rare appearances in stories when Fletcher or his siblings inquired. Meanwhile, his young Hispanic mother transformed herself into an artist, scouting the back roads and secondhand shops of New Mexico for relics and unlikely treasures to add to her and#8220;little shrines,and#8221; or descansos. and#8220;Look closely,and#8221; sheand#8217;d say to her son. and#8220;Everything tells a story.and#8221;and#160;
This book is Fletcherand#8217;s literary descanso, a piecing togetherand#8212;from moments and objects and wordsand#8212;of a fatherand#8217;s life, of the life lived without that father, and of his own mixed-race identity. Fletcherand#8217;s reflections unfold like a collage, offering a rich array of images and stories of life with his single mother, organizing weekend family car trips to explore graveyards and adobe ruins; of growing up on the fault lines of class and culture; of being a father who never had one of his own to learn from. From incidents and observations, Fletcher assembles a beautifully crafted portrait of his familyand#8217;s unspoken affliction with loss over the decades, a portrait that finally evokes the father at its heart.
College can be a complex time for Latinas, who are traditionally expected to leave home when they get married. In her essay “Only Daughter,” author Sandra Cisneros remarks, “After four years in college and two more in graduate school, and still no husband, my father shakes his head even now and says I wasted all that education.”
Wise Latinas is a collection of personal essays addressing the varied landscape of the Latina experience in higher education. For some Latinas, college, where they are vastly underrepresented, is the first time they are immersed in American culture outside their homes—and where the values of two cultures often clash. Wise Latinas is in part a response to this widening gap.
Featuring acclaimed writers such as Sandra Cisneros, Norma Cantú, and Julia Alvarez, to name a few, Wise Latinas shows that there is no one Latina college experience. With thoughtful and engaging pieces, Wise Latinas provides a platform for Latina writers to share their experiences in higher education and gives a voice to the many Latina women who have taken risks; embraced the new, confronted change; and maintained (and in some cases found) their roots.
About the Author
Harrison Candelaria Fletcher teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the winner of a New Letters Literary Award, High Desert Journal Obsidian Prize,and#160;Pushcart Prize Special Mention, and has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award and PEN Center Literary Award.