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Ordinary Girls byJaquira Díaz

A touching memoir about survival


"We were the wild girls who loved music and dancing. Girls who were black and brown and poor and queer. Girls who loved each other."

Jaquira was born in Puerto Rico to a family with roots in Haiti. Gender roles were very much adhered to. Her father sold drugs and her mother eventually became addicted to drugs. Jaquira moved to Miami where her parents divorce, her mother's addiction becomes worse, and she is diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Jaquira and her siblings are left to care for themselves. What happens in her life after this is emotional, difficult but an important story to hear. Jaquira's story is not a rare one. It's just one that is not openly talked about. I commend her for telling this story. For letting other girls experiencing these things know that they are not alone and that there is hope.

My thoughts/feelings: Throughout her life, Jaquira encounters all manner of struggles - Poverty, racism, sexism, depression, drugs, and sexual assault. Her life was not pretty and yet her story needs to be shared. There are numerous families experiencing similar situations and it's important for these narratives to be shared. I hope this book serves to bring awareness to all of these topics so that we as a human race can work together to look out for our children, to be aware of how other people live and to help build a community of support and acceptance and understanding.

About the author:

From Goodreads - "Jaquira Díaz was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami. She is the winner of a #WhitingAward, a Florida Book Awards Gold Medal, and a Lambda Literary Awards finalist. Ordinary Girls was a Summer/Fall 2019 Indies Introduce Selection, a Fall 2019 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Notable Selection, a November 2019 Indie Next Pick, and a Library Reads October pick. Díaz's work has been published in The Guardian, The Fader, Conde Nast Traveler, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and The Best American Essays 2016, among other publications. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Kenyon Review, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. A former Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, and Consulting Editor at the Kenyon Review, she splits her time between Montréal and Miami Beach, with her partner, the writer Lars Horn."


Thank you so much to Kelly Doyle at #algonquinbooks for the invitation to be part of the blog tour for #OrdinaryGirls by #jaquiradiaz.

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