Friday, August 18, 2023 – 7:00 PM
In-person at Brookline Booksmith! Celebrate the release of Las Madres with author Esmeralda Santiago in conversation with David Valdes.
RSVP to let us know you’re coming! Depending on the volume of responses, an RSVP may be required for entrance to the event. You will also be alerted to important details about the program, including safety requirements, cancellations, and book signing updates.
From the award-winning, best-selling author of When I Was Puerto Rican, a powerful novel of family, race, faith, sex, and disaster that moves between Puerto Rico and the Bronx, revealing the lives and loves of five women and the secret that binds them together
They refer to themselves as “las Madres,” a close-knit group of women who, with their daughters, have created a family based on friendship and blood ties. Their story begins in Puerto Rico in 1975 when fifteen-year-old Luz, the tallest girl in her dance academy and the only Black one in a sea of petite, light-skinned, delicate swans, is seriously injured in a car accident. Tragically, her brilliant, multilingual scientist parents are both killed in the crash. Now orphaned, Luz navigates the pressures of adolescence and copes with the aftershock of a brain injury when two new friends enter her life, Ada and Shirley. Luz’s days are consumed with aches and pains, and her memory of the accident is wiped clean, but she suffers spells that send her mind to times and places she can’t share with others.
In 2017, in the Bronx, Luz’s adult daughter, Marysol, wishes she better understood her. But how can she when her mother barely remembers her own life? To help, Ada and Shirley’s daughter, Graciela, suggests a vacation in Puerto Rico for the extended group as an opportunity for Luz to unearth long-buried memories and for Marysol to learn more about her mother’s early life. But despite all their careful planning, two hurricanes, back-to-back, disrupt their homecoming, and a secret is revealed that blows their lives wide open. In a voice that sings with warmth, humor, friendship, and pride, celebrated author Esmeralda Santiago unspools a story of women’s sexuality, shame, disability, and love within a community rocked by disaster.
ESMERALDA SANTIAGO is the author of the novel Conquistadora and the memoirs When I Was Puerto Rican and Almost A Woman, which was adapted into a Peabody Award–winning movie for PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she lives with her husband, documentary filmmaker Frank Cantor, in New York.
David Valdes is the author of the nonfiction books Homo Domesticus, The Rhinestone Sisterhood, and Today Show Pick A Little Fruitcake, as well as a dozen produced plays. A former Boston Globe columnist and HuffPost blogger whose posts have received over a million hits, he also wrote an advice column for Medium and was recently featured in the New York Times’s Modern Love column. He teaches writing at Boston Conservatory and Tufts. David lives in the Boston area with his teen daughter.