ENCHANTED AIR: TWO CULTURES, TWO WINGS: A MEMOIR -- poetic memoir of a girl torn between two countries during the early 1960s
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle (2015, Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 208 pages)
Margarita Engle is the first Latina woman author to receive a Newbery Honor, and rightly so for her writing in this poetic memoir, a memoir that shares how she grew up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War.
Engle's father is an American artist of Ukrainian Jewish descent, and her mother a beautiful Cuban immigrant who misses her tropical country, “the lush beauty of a land so wild/and green that the rippling river/on my great-uncle’s farm/shimmers like a hummingbird.” The contrast is the noisy city of Los Angeles. “In one country, I hear the sweet words / of another. / Dulce de leche means sweet of milk. / Guarapo is sugarcane juice.”
But then a revolution breaks out in Cuba and Margarita fears for her far-away family. The hostility between Cuba and the United States after the Bay of Pigs invasion will shake her world in a dramatic way, waking up a thousand questions about identity, otherness, love and family.
Margarita Engle chooses to end this beautiful poetic memoir with a comforting thought: “All I know about the future/is that it will be beautiful.”
To read an interview with the author about this novel, click here
Find this title in our catalog: Enchanted Air
Recommended by: Maite