Letters to My Mother

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Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2006 - Juvenile Fiction - 103 pages
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The narrator of Letters to My Mother is a young Afro-Cuban girl who, when her mother dies, must live with her aunt and cousins. Dependent on them and their goodwill, she’s deeply wounded by their taunts about how dark her skin is and their attacks on her behavior in general, including her choice not to straighten her hair. Her life is often miserable as she must endure casual racial prejudice and mistreatment from those around her. To keep her mother alive somehow, and to remember that she was once unconditionally loved, she writes letters telling "Mami” what she is suffering and feeling. Over the course of this powerful and moving novel composed of these letters, the heroine comes of age. Is her inner strength sufficient to overcome her pain and the bigotry of the people in her life?

Letters to My Mother was attacked in some quarters for exposing the problem of racism in contemporary Cuban society, but it went on to win major awards.

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User Review  - Kyle.Torres - LibraryThing

Letters to My Mother is about a young girl that writes letters to her mother that is in heaven. The girl lives in Cuba with her aunt, cousins and her grandmother. All of them don't like the girl ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HeatherSwinford - LibraryThing

Between the ages of ten to fifteen, a girl writes letters to her dead mother in order to keep her memory alive. Living with her aunt and cousins, she eventually makes friends with a light-skinned boy and an old woman and discovers some family secrets. Read full review


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About the author (2006)

David Unger is an award winning poet, writer and translator. Among the notable books Unger helped translate is "Small Hours of the Night "by Roque Dalton, "Popol Vuh "from Elena Garro and works of many other authors like Nicanor Parra and Barbara Jacobs. His first novel, "Life in the Damn Tropics," was published in English in 2002.

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