This semester I'm taking a Latino American Literature class. The book we are reading right now is Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros. (You may have read House on Mango Street in high school. I did, but I don't remember hardly anything about it because let's face it...it was probably beyond my maturity level!)
I LOVE this book. (If you follow me on twitter, sorry for all the quotes...okay I'm not sorry.) Cisneros is an amazing author, and I really do need to go back and read House on Mango Street because when I was 14 I just thought it was straight up bizarre. Caramelo is basically the story of a young girl, Celaya "Lala" Reyes. She grows up in Chicago and once a year her family drives down to Mexico to visit her grandparents for the summer. Lala shares her experiences with her crazy family and the Awful Grandmother's life story as well. "Soon a multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life."
I have really loved learning about Chicano (Mexican-American) culture from my class and from the books we have been reading. One of my favorite parts in the book is when Lala's Aunt is telling Lala about her first husband leaving her. She says:
"Look, I wouldn't hate him if I didn't love him. Only people you love drive you to hate, don't you know that yet, Lalita? The ones you don't give a cucumber for, who cares what they think, right? They're not worth the bother of being upset. But when someone you love does something cruel, ¡te mata! It can kill you or drive you to kill, ¡te mato!...That's how we are, we mexicanas, puro coraje y pasión. That's what we're made of, Lala, you and me. That's us. We love like we hate. Backward and forward, past, present, and future. With our heart and soul and our tripas, too."
I love that. Sometimes I feel like a mexicana. Just so VERY full of pasión. (The love kind and the hate kind.)