Title: Ordinary Girls: A Memoir
Author: Jaquira Díaz
Published by: Algonquin Books
Released: October 29, 2019
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Synopsis: “There is more life packed on each page of Ordinary Girls than some lives hold in a lifetime.” —Julia AlvarezOrdinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was surrounded by the love of her friends; as she longed for a family and home, she found instead a life upended by violence. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz triumphantly maps a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be.
With a story reminiscent of Tara Westover’s Educated, Roxane Gay’s Hunger, and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries, Jaquira Díaz delivers a memoir that reads as electrically as a novel. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: I don't really read a lot of nonfiction, so I wasn't sure how Ordinary Girls was going to go. I'm pleased to say that I really enjoyed it, I was caught up in the story of Jaquira Díaz's life. It was a very engaging and fast paced read. If I didn't know I was reading a memoir, I would have just thought it like all of the other fiction books that I read.
Because it is a memoir, I feel a little weird about rating it. This was someone's life, a life that I'm glad I got to read about.
This book does have a lot of darkness to it. Jaquira Díaz definitely went through a lot of stuff and came out strong. There is violence, sexual assault, depression, and mental illness. They were tough subjects to witness.
I'm really glad I got the chance to read Ordinary Girls. It offers a glimpse of a life that was very turbulent, but the author came through the other side with strength. It's definitely a memoir I'd recommend.
Jaquira Díaz was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami. She is the author of Ordinary Girls: A Memoir, winner of a Whiting Award, 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.
Thanks for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for Ordinary Girls: A Memoir by Jaquira Díaz. Thanks so much to Algonquin Press and Jaquira Díaz for letting me be a part of it.