Las Niñas: A Collection of Childhood Memories. By Sarah Rafael García ISBN: 978-1-888205-09-1 $19.95
Las Niñas is a collection of autobiographical childhood memories of three Mexican-American sisters. It recounts their struggles while being raised as the first generation born in America of their Mexican family. Las Niñas portrays common situations that immigrant families can relate to through their own process of cultural assimilation. Each chapter is a different childhood memory celebrating culture, life and change through humor and self-reflection. Its creative style and unique display of a child's perception will entice many genres of readers and provide insight on the possible challenges that many recent immigrants face with their family's new generation in America.
The childhood memories lightly touch on issues of immigration, learning English as a second language and assimilating into the American culture. Las Niñas reveals the most humorous, intimate and traumatic events that occurred as Sarita, Chuchen and Nini grew up in their family's new country, ultimately providing the foundation for surviving their father's death at such a young age. The bond among the three sisters allows the reader to feel their family's pride and growth in a dual culture. Nevertheless, the reader's own entertainment and personal relevance will be the greatest contributor to Las Niñas' popularity and triumph.
Las Niñas represent an honest and heart-felt account of first generation Latinas, American-born girls, who grew up in a Mexican cultural cocoon, to open it and converge in to their outgoing personalities into middleclass ethnic America. The authoress provides a most candid and enlightening perspective of growing up in America in the Latino barrio. Andrea Alessandra, Northwestern University.
Born in Brownsville, Texas
April 23, 1974
Both sets of my grandparents relocated their family to Brownsville, Texas from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico in the late 1960’s. My parents received high-school level educations and moved to Southern California in the late 1970’s. The majority of my childhood took place in Santa Ana, California while spending summers in Texas with my grandparents. My father died at the age of 36, leaving behind three daughters between the ages of ten and thirteen and a wife with limited work experience. Immediately after his death my mother moved us to Rancho Santa Margarita, California.
My interest in school was minimal growing up, but I managed to get motivated by writing. I started creating short stories and poetry after my father passed. I guess you can say my creativity was sparked by my confusing years as a teenager and mourning for my father. In high school I took interest in journalism by striving to be the newspaper editor, that later developed into the reason for attending college.
Since my writing began during my rebellious teenage years, its style expressed it. My college papers usually involved abstract thinking or controversial issues. I left writing to a leisure pursuit instead of a career. I produced works by contributing short column advertisements to a local newsletter in Plano, Texas. With the motivation of my peers I co-founded a literary group for writers in the Spanish language at Southwest Texas State University in 1996 and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Applied Sociology and minor in Spanish in 1998.
Upon my move to Texas I started my career in social work by providing family counseling and parenting classes, which eventually led to working with juvenile delinquents while attending the university. After graduating and spending one year as a Case Manager for at-risk youths, I left the social work field. I focused on finding opportunities to use my passion for writing. I decided to obtain a position in marketing to develop professional writing skills.
Through multiple positions that took me to Dallas, Miami and Los Angeles, I created technical documents that led to award winning descriptions and promotional pieces. My last corporate title allowed me to develop national marketing strategies and integrated marketing plans.
Although I had acquired a position with a successful company, I still felt like something was missing in my life. I started working on my book whether my corporate career allowed for it or not. In 2004, I found a unique opportunity to accomplish several goals in my life through one experience. For a year and half I resided in Beijing, China, taught English to students of all ages and wrote on a full-time basis.
Since the publication of Las Niñas, A Collection of Childhood Memories in 2008, I have continued to share my writings and community outreach by founding Barrio Writers in 2009, a reading and writing program aimed to empower teenagers through creative writing, higher education and the cultural arts. Most recently, I spent three months backpacking through Australia, exploring a new country while working on my second book. My writings, workshops and lifestyle promote community empowerment, cultural awareness and global sharing