Looking for Esperanza
October 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
Brevity editor Dinty W. Moore chose Adriana Páramo‘s book manuscript, Looking for Esperanza, last year as winner of the 2011 Benu Press Social Justice and Equity Award in Creative Nonfiction. “Páramo‘s Looking for Esperanza is an essential window into the hidden world of undocumented female farmworkers struggling to maintain their health, their families, and their dignity in an unforgiving world,” he wrote then. “Páramo shines a necessary light on these defiant fearless women fighting for their own small morsel of the American Dream. The result is a book both powerful and unforgettable.”
The book is now available, and recently reviewed by Sonya Huber fin River Teeth. Here is an excerpt from the review:
Páramo’s varied background—child of a Colombian immigrant, mother, and child of a single mother–is offered alongside careful immersion literary nonfiction in a vital braiding that reveals the source of the author’s insights into the struggles of the women in her book. Páramo boldly merges ethnography, memoir, research, quest, letter, imagined scenes, and poetry; at one point in the narrative, she turns to explore emotions spurred by the loss of her own mother, allowing the reader to see the ways in which role models and connections among women are so vital—and so sorely missed when they are absent. …Her focus on the overlapping political resonances, hidden human experiences, and embedded subjectivities in one geographical area recall U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway’s recent foray into nonfiction, Beyond Katrina. Páramo’s poetic, vivid, and astonishing work sets a new standard in the form of immersion writing and creative nonfiction.