How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water (Flatiron Books)
From GMA BOOK CLUB PICK and WOMEN'S PRIZE FINALIST Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana, an electrifying new novel about a woman who has lost everything but the chance to finally tell her story.
Write this down: Cara Romero wants to work.
Cara Romero thought she would work at the factory of little lamps for the rest of her life. But when, in her mid-50s, she loses her job in the Great Recession, she is forced back into the job market for the first time in decades. Set up with a job counselor, Cara instead begins to narrate the story of her life. Over the course of twelve sessions, Cara recounts her tempestuous love affairs, her alternately biting and loving relationships with her neighbor Lulu and her sister Angela, her struggles with debt, gentrification and loss, and, eventually, what really happened between her and her estranged son, Fernando. As Cara confronts her darkest secrets and regrets, we see a woman buffeted by life but still full of fight.
Structurally inventive and emotionally kaleidoscopic, How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water is Angie Cruz’s most ambitious and moving novel yet, and Cara is a heroine for the ages.
Angie Cruz is the author of the novels Soledad, Let It Rain Coffee, and Dominicana, which was shortlisted for the Women's Prize and a Good Morning America Book Club pick. She is founder and editor in chief of Aster(ix), a literary and arts journal, and is an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.
Justin Torres' novel We the Animals has been translated into fifteen languages and was recently adapted into a film. He has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper's, and Granta, as well as non-fiction pieces in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Justin was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library. He was the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.
This event is presented in partnership with the Poderistas' Poder Circle Book Club! The Poder Circle Book Club is a quarterly, themed book club that aims to spark and facilitate important discussion around our shared experiences, our unique stories, and the issues that affect our comunidad. At Poderistas, we want to show the world that libros by Latinxs matter—that our words have Poder. As a community, we come from a long tradition of storytellers whose words have sparked movements. We honor that tradition by uplifting Latinx voices, deepening our understanding of the Latinx experience, facilitating discussion, and inspiring action through words with impact.
Praise for How Not to Drink in a Glass of Water -
A Most Anticipated Book (The TODAY Show, The Millions, LitHub, Ms. Magazine, AARP)
"Big Neapolitan-novels-meets-Topics-of-Conversations vibes...I can’t wait to fall into this one." —LitHub
"Brilliantly illustrat[es] the importance of telling one’s story." —Ms. Magazine
“Cara’s voice is direct and full of personality. We can hear her talking to us throughout the book and turning these pages is like being invited into a neighbor’s kitchen for a good gossip session…Cruz has created an unforgettable character in Cara. And readers will feel like they’ve made a new, fascinating friend.” —New York Journal of Books
“With wit and warmth, author Cruz explores Cara’s [life]. The potency of Cara’s first-person voice as she speaks to the job counselor is undeniable…A poignant portrait of one fallible, wise woman and a corner of one of New York’s most vibrant immigrant communities.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[Cruz] channels Cara’s warm voice…Cara shines as a caring friend and a survivor thanks to support systems that transcend family ties.” —Booklist
"A tender and quintessentially American portrait." —Publishers Weekly
“An absolute masterpiece—where to begin? I could tell you about this novel's innovative structure, its riveting story, its glorious and hilarious voice, its satisfactions as a page-turner, or its exquisite poetics that draw on immigrant brilliance. I could tell you it’s a stunning exploration of survival, queerness, family, resilience, and the possibilities forged by love. All of that is true. This book is a miracle; prepare to be astonished.” —Carolina De Robertis, author of Cantoras and The President and the Frog
“Absolutely gorgeous. I’m head over heels in love with and moved by Cara Romero. This book is full full full, holding so much life with an effervescent light touch. One of my favorite books I have read in years.” —Quiara Alegria Hudes, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter of In the Heights
“Angie Cruz’s luminous new novel introduces us to the irresistible Cara Romero. An older immigrant worker whose life was upended by the recession of 2008, she offers up a funny, smart, engaging handbook to survival (work, love, children, familia) in a crazily changing world. Personally, I think Cara should have her own talk show!” —Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban
“Continuously surprising...Stupendous. The voice comes alive with such immediacy in this formally inventive novel. I loved every page of it.” —Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew
“Poignant and lovely and wonderful. I read it in one sitting and will read it again. Angie Cruz is a genius.” —Jennifer Croft, Man Book International-winning translator and author of Homesick
“So good. Wow. I've laughed so much already. Cara is hands down becoming one of my favorite characters. This is a page-turner for sure.” —Saraciea Fennell, editor of Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed
“Write this down: Cara Romero is going to steal your heart. Such a beautiful, funny, tender, and empowering story. And what a nuanced portrayal of motherhood.” —Cleyvis Natera, author of Neruda on the Park
“You will love, yes, love and identify with this brilliantly written story. We are all Cara Romero.” —Kianny Antigua, award-winning translator of Dominicana