Mother Tongue

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Random House Publishing Group, May 5, 2010 - Fiction - 208 pages
2 Reviews
"It is a great beauty of a book, and I am so proud of you for standing with and for the disappeared. A sister, a lover, a witness."
--Alice Walker

Mary is nineteen and living alone in Albuquerque. Adrift in the wake of her mother's death, she longs for something meaningful to take her over. Then José Luis enters her life. A refugee from El Salvador and its bloody civil war, José has been smuggled to the United States as part of the sanctuary movement.

Mary cannot help but fall in love with the movement and the man. And little by little, she begins to reveal to José Luis the part of herself she has never known. . . .

"A book that becomes more timely every day, in our present political climate, and deserves the widest possible audience for its beautiful prose and humanitarian heart."
--Barbara Kingsolver

"Demetria Martínez has pulled out all the stops: here is truth to arouse any hardened heart; here is the 'insanity' of a woman in love calling forth a revolutionary lucidity. Read it. Get angry. And act."
--Luis J. Rodríguez, Author of Always Running

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Review: Mother Tongue

User Review  - Eileen Sam - Goodreads

Super beautifully written and I like that it's kinda of like a political love story...excellent sensory detail of culture as well. Read full review

Review: Mother Tongue

User Review  - Jim - Goodreads

An excellent novella that poetically follows the romance, so to speak, of a young woman and the Salvadoran refugee she is hiding from the authorities. Well written, I really enjoyed it. Good for ... Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12

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About the author (2010)

Demetria Martinez is an author, activist, lecturer and columnist. Her autobiographical essays, Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana (Univ. of Oklahoma Press), won the 2006 International Latino Book Award in the category of best biography.

Born in Albuquerque, NM, in 1960, where she now resides, Martinez earned her BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. She teaches at the annual June writing workshop at the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at the Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston. Martinez writes a column for the independent progressive bi-weekly, The National Catholic Reporter. She is involved with Enlace Comunitario, an immigrants' rights group which works with Spanish-speaking survivors of domestic violence.

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