Once upon a Quinceanera

Coming of Age in the USA

by Julia Alvarez

Hardcover, 278 pages, Penguin Group USA, List Price: $23.95 | purchase

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Title
Once upon a Quinceanera
Subtitle
Coming of Age in the USA
Author
Julia Alvarez

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Book Summary

The quinceaƤnera, the fifteenth birthday celebration for a Latina girl, is quickly becoming an American event. This legendary party is a sight to behold: lavish ball gowns, extravagant catered meals, DJs, limousines, and multi-tiered cakes. The must-haves for a "quince" are becoming as numerous and costly as a prom or wedding. And yet, this elaborate ritual also hearkens back to traditions from native countries and communities, offering young Latinas a chance to connect with their heritage. Writer Alvarez explores this celebration that brings a Latina girl into womanhood, attending the quince of a young woman in Queens, and weaving in interviews with other quince girls, her own memories of coming of age as an immigrant, and the history of the custom itself. The result is an enlightening, accessible, and entertaining portrait of contemporary Latino culture.—From publisher description.