Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a “phenomenal, indispensable” (USA Today) exploration of the Latina “sweet fifteen” celebration, by the bestselling author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of Butterflies

The quinceañera, a celebration of a Latina girl’s fifteenth birthday, has become a uniquely American trend. This lavish party with ball gowns, multi-tiered cakes, limousines, and extravagant meals is often as costly as a prom or a wedding. But many Latina girls feel entitled to this rite of passage, marking a girl’s entrance into womanhood, and expect no expense to be spared, even in working-class families. Acclaimed author Julia Alvarez explores the history and cultural significance of the “quince” in the United States, and the consequences of treating teens like princesses. Through her observations of a quince in Queens, interviews with other quince girls, and the memories of her own experience as a young immigrant, Alvarez presents a thoughtful and entertaining portrait of a rapidly growing multicultural phenomenon, and passionately emphasizes the importance of celebrating Latina womanhood.

© Bill Eichner
Julia Alvarez is the author of the novels How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies (a national Book Critics Circle Award finalist), and Yo!. She has also published two poetry collections (Homecoming and The Other side/El Otro Lado) and a collection of essays (Something to Declare).

Julia Álvarez es la autora de De cómo las chicas García perdieron el acento, En el tiempo de las mariposas (un finalista del National Book Critics Circle Award) y ¡Yo!. También ha publicado dos colecciones de poesía y una colección de ensayos. Julia Álvarez vive en Vermont y en República Dominicana, donde dirige una cooperativa de café orgánico, y un centro de alfabetización y arte con su esposo. View titles by Julia Alvarez
Praise for Once Upon a Quinceanera

“Phenomenal...indispensable. Alvarez’s novelistic eye makes Once Upon a Quinceañera an intimate, intoxicating read.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“A journey into experiencing a vital, exuberant ritual of modern Latino life...As an author, Alvarez is a terrific tour guide.”—The Seattle Times
 
“[Alvarez] brings a critical eye to long-held myths...Each page is a love song to the cultural ties that bind generations of women from a diverse group of countries.”—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Fascinating, exhaustively researched.”—The Washington Post
 
“Alvarez’s honest grappling with her caught-between-two-cultures experience is compelling.”—Entertainment Weekly

About

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a “phenomenal, indispensable” (USA Today) exploration of the Latina “sweet fifteen” celebration, by the bestselling author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of Butterflies

The quinceañera, a celebration of a Latina girl’s fifteenth birthday, has become a uniquely American trend. This lavish party with ball gowns, multi-tiered cakes, limousines, and extravagant meals is often as costly as a prom or a wedding. But many Latina girls feel entitled to this rite of passage, marking a girl’s entrance into womanhood, and expect no expense to be spared, even in working-class families. Acclaimed author Julia Alvarez explores the history and cultural significance of the “quince” in the United States, and the consequences of treating teens like princesses. Through her observations of a quince in Queens, interviews with other quince girls, and the memories of her own experience as a young immigrant, Alvarez presents a thoughtful and entertaining portrait of a rapidly growing multicultural phenomenon, and passionately emphasizes the importance of celebrating Latina womanhood.

Author

© Bill Eichner
Julia Alvarez is the author of the novels How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies (a national Book Critics Circle Award finalist), and Yo!. She has also published two poetry collections (Homecoming and The Other side/El Otro Lado) and a collection of essays (Something to Declare).

Julia Álvarez es la autora de De cómo las chicas García perdieron el acento, En el tiempo de las mariposas (un finalista del National Book Critics Circle Award) y ¡Yo!. También ha publicado dos colecciones de poesía y una colección de ensayos. Julia Álvarez vive en Vermont y en República Dominicana, donde dirige una cooperativa de café orgánico, y un centro de alfabetización y arte con su esposo. View titles by Julia Alvarez

Praise

Praise for Once Upon a Quinceanera

“Phenomenal...indispensable. Alvarez’s novelistic eye makes Once Upon a Quinceañera an intimate, intoxicating read.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“A journey into experiencing a vital, exuberant ritual of modern Latino life...As an author, Alvarez is a terrific tour guide.”—The Seattle Times
 
“[Alvarez] brings a critical eye to long-held myths...Each page is a love song to the cultural ties that bind generations of women from a diverse group of countries.”—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Fascinating, exhaustively researched.”—The Washington Post
 
“Alvarez’s honest grappling with her caught-between-two-cultures experience is compelling.”—Entertainment Weekly

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