By Daisy Hernandez
A coming-of-age memoir through a Colombian-Cuban girl approximately shaping classes from domestic right into a new, queer life
In this lyrical, coming-of-age memoir, Daisy Hernández chronicles what the ladies in her Cuban-Colombian kinfolk taught her approximately love, cash, and race. Her mom warns her approximately envidia and males who seduce you with pastries, whereas one tía bemoans that her niece is popping out to be “una india” rather than an American. one other auntie instructs that once individuals are shut, they're sure to turn into like uña y mugre, fingernails and grime, and that no, Daisy’s father isn't really godless. He’s easily praying to a sweet dish that may be traced again to Africa.
These lessons—rooted in women’s stories of migration, colonization, y cariño—define in evocative element what it skill to develop up girl in an immigrant domestic. in a single tale, Daisy units out to defy the dictates of race and sophistication that preoccupy her mom and tías, yet courting ladies and transmen, and coming to spot as bisexual, leads her to unforeseen questions. In one other piece, NAFTA shuts neighborhood factories in her place of birth at the outskirts of recent York urban, and he or she starts off translating unemployment kinds for her mom and dad, relocating among English and Spanish, in addition to deepest and collective fears. In prose that's either memoir and observation, Daisy displays on reporting for the recent York occasions because the paper is rocked by way of the most important plagiarism scandal in its historical past and plunged into debates concerning the function of race within the newsroom.
A heartfelt exploration of kin, identification, and language, A Cup of Water lower than My mattress is finally a daughter’s tale of discovering herself and her neighborhood, and of constructing a brand new, queer life.
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Additional resources for A Cup of Water Under My Bed
Marvin's quarter. I win two out of three. Heads. I pick the top bunk. I need as much privacy as possible. Edith thinks it will be absolutely wonderful to look out and not see dry land. For days. I think it's going to be a long trip. My mother says I'll fall in love with Haiti. The people are very warm. She's read all about the country. The customs. The food. Which is French Creole in origin. I'd like to buy a hand-carved drum with authentic voodoo symbols painted up and down the sides. And a stretched goatskin tambourine that I can use when I'm back home to teach Israeli folk dancing to the neighborhood on Lynn Avenue.
It's awful. Hysterical, I beg Edith to intervene. She is humiliated that her daughters are behaving this way. Family is all there is. She taught us better, she Page 17 reminds me. My middle sister, Jan, stops speaking to me in tenth grade because I make the varsity cheerleading squad and get a new navy blue V-neck wool sweater with a big ''F" embroidered in the middle, and she has to be a Scotchette like Judy. But Jan is a National Merit Scholar finalist and knows all the answers on Jeopardy, which neither Judy nor I ever do.
So he keeps them hanging in the closet for over two years; the shape of his wife's body is completely visible. She has her own Eau de London smell that lingers on her clothes for months after she dies. We girls have our own individual aesthetic, which we work hard to develop. It's difficult and requires a lot of self-confidence to carve out an identifiable style separate and apart from Edith's. To our father's great dismay, we refuse her small private collection of designer handbags. We have to.