The mulatto slave Zarité, known as Tété, and her owner, the French planter Toulouse Valmorain form the center of Allende’s novel (THE ISLAND BENEATH THE SEA) about slavery and the slave revolt that freed Haiti.

August 13, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Caribbean, Class - Race - Gender, Facing History, New Orleans


Nothing has gone right for Gabrielle Segovia in a while. Frustrated with her academic job, slowly becoming more and more estranged from her husband and despondent after three miscarriages, everything comes to a head when after too much alcohol at a New Orleans nightclub, she picks up a sexy scientist attending the same conference and might have done more than kiss him if her stomach hadn’t propelled her to the bathroom instead. On a lark, she participates in a reading at Marie Laveau’s shop that will change her life. Mr. John, the reader, tells her that her husband has a surprise for her, her father should stay away from ladders, someone at her university wants to steal her work and that she needs to turn to her family for answers.

May 29, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Latin American/Caribbean


As TRY TO REMEMBER begins in 1968, Gabriella is fifteen years old, living with her father, mother and two younger brothers near Miami, Florida. They have come to the United States from Colombia and though her parents both hold green cards, Gabi is afraid that they will all have their cards confiscated and be sent back to their village in Colombia. Gabi’s fears stem mostly from the fact that her father behaves erratically and her brothers get into trouble in school.

May 21, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Coming-of-Age, Florida, Latin American/Caribbean

THE LACUNA by Barbara Kingsolver

In Barbara Kingsolver’s THE LACUNA, Harrison Shepherd’s odyssey through three tumultuous decades of the 20th century begins in a lonely boyhood between two worlds – America and Mexico. It continues through the Depression and World War II, and culminates in the ugly, surreal hysteria of the Red Scare.

Along the way Shepherd mixes plaster for the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, becomes a confidant of his colorful wife, the artist Frida Kahlo, serves as secretary to the exiled Bolshevik, Leon Trotsky, and becomes a celebrity in his own right. Readers will bond with his kind soul, his boundless curiosity, his youthful exuberance and his self-deprecating wit as he experiences the best and worst his times have to offer.

December 10, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Latin American/Caribbean, Literary, Mexico, Orange Prize, Unique Narrative

ANNA IN-BETWEEN by Elizabeth Nunez

ANNA IN-BETWEEN is a novel about an unmarried, Caribbean woman in her late thirties, Anna Sinclair, who begins to understand herself as she comes to understand her parents. The novel explores issues of caste, race and culture in a moving, deeply poignant tale of mother and daughter. Anna goes back to the island of her birth as she does every year, but this time she stays for a month to spend more time with her aging parents…

November 14, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Caribbean, Class - Race - Gender, Family Matters, Latin American/Caribbean, Literary, y Award Winning Author


Leila Cobo’s debut novel, TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE, is an utterly wonderful and riveting book that had me in its clutches from the first page. It is lyrical and sensual with no word out of place. The character development is perfect, deep and meaningful, bringing the reader into the heart of the protagonists and their lives. In a sense, this novel sang to me in its poignant story of great loves.

October 15, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Family Matters, Latin America, Latin American/Caribbean, Reading Guide, World Lit