Erika L. Sánchez
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About Erika L. Sánchez
Erika L. Sánchez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. A poet, essayist, and fiction writer, she is the author of a young adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2017), a National Book Award Finalist, and the poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion (Graywolf, 2017), a finalist of the Pen America Open Book Award. Her nonfiction has been published in Al Jazeera, Cosmopolitan, ESPN.com, the Guardian, NBC News, Rolling Stone, Salon, and elsewhere. She has received a CantoMundo Fellowship, a Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship to Madrid, Spain, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She is a 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellow.
Follow her on Twitter: @ErikaLSanchez
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Books By Erika L. Sánchez
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Instant New York Times Bestseller
‘I fell in love with Erika L. Sánchez’ stunning novel... The depth, wit and searing intelligence of her writing, and her young Latina heroine, struck me to my core.’ America Ferrera
‘This gripping debut about a Mexican-American misfit is alive and crackling.’ New York Times
‘A perfect book about imperfection.’ Juan Felipe Herrera
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself.
When her sister Olga dies in a tragic accident, Julia is left to pick up the pieces of her family. She is also expected to fill the shoes of her sister. But Julia has never been the perfect Mexican daughter.
As Julia struggles to find her place in the world, she discovers Olga was not as perfect as everyone thought. Who was her sister really? And how can Julia even attempt to live up to an impossible ideal?
An award-winning and hard-hitting new voice in contemporary American poetry
The first time I ever came the light was weak and carnivorous.
I covered my eyes and the night cleared its dumb throat.
I heard my mother wringing her hands the next morning.
Of course I put my underwear on backwards, of course the elastic didn't work.
What I wanted most at that moment was a sandwich.
But I just nursed on this leather whip.
I just splattered my sheets with my sadness.
—from “Poem of My Humiliations”
“What is life but a cross / over rotten water?” Poet, novelist, and essayist Erika L. Sánchez’s powerful debut poetry collection explores what it means to live on both sides of the border—the border between countries, languages, despair and possibility, and the living and the dead. Sánchez tells her own story as the daughter of undocumented Mexican immigrants and as part of a family steeped in faith, work, grief, and expectations. The poems confront sex, shame, race, and an America roiling with xenophobia, violence, and laws of suspicion and suppression. With candor and urgency, and with the unblinking eyes of a journalist, Sánchez roves from the individual life into the lives of sex workers, narco-traffickers, factory laborers, artists, and lovers. What emerges is a powerful, multifaceted portrait of survival. Lessons on Expulsion is the first book by a vibrant, essential new writer now breaking into the national literary landscape.