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Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education

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College can be a complex time for Latinas, who are traditionally expected to leave home when they get married. In her essay “Only Daughter,” author Sandra Cisneros remarks, “After four years in college and two more in graduate school, and still no husband, my father shakes his head even now and says I wasted all that education.” Wise Latinas is a collection of personal ess College can be a complex time for Latinas, who are traditionally expected to leave home when they get married. In her essay “Only Daughter,” author Sandra Cisneros remarks, “After four years in college and two more in graduate school, and still no husband, my father shakes his head even now and says I wasted all that education.” Wise Latinas is a collection of personal essays addressing the varied landscape of the Latina experience in higher education. For some Latinas, college, where they are vastly underrepresented, is the first time they are immersed in American culture outside their homes—and where the values of two cultures often clash. Wise Latinas is in part a response to this widening gap. Featuring acclaimed writers such as Sandra Cisneros, Norma Cantú, and Julia Alvarez, to name a few, Wise Latinas shows that there is no one Latina college experience. With thoughtful and engaging pieces, Wise Latinas provides a platform for Latina writers to share their experiences in higher education and gives a voice to the many Latina women who have taken risks; embraced the new, confronted change; and maintained (and in some cases found) their roots.  


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College can be a complex time for Latinas, who are traditionally expected to leave home when they get married. In her essay “Only Daughter,” author Sandra Cisneros remarks, “After four years in college and two more in graduate school, and still no husband, my father shakes his head even now and says I wasted all that education.” Wise Latinas is a collection of personal ess College can be a complex time for Latinas, who are traditionally expected to leave home when they get married. In her essay “Only Daughter,” author Sandra Cisneros remarks, “After four years in college and two more in graduate school, and still no husband, my father shakes his head even now and says I wasted all that education.” Wise Latinas is a collection of personal essays addressing the varied landscape of the Latina experience in higher education. For some Latinas, college, where they are vastly underrepresented, is the first time they are immersed in American culture outside their homes—and where the values of two cultures often clash. Wise Latinas is in part a response to this widening gap. Featuring acclaimed writers such as Sandra Cisneros, Norma Cantú, and Julia Alvarez, to name a few, Wise Latinas shows that there is no one Latina college experience. With thoughtful and engaging pieces, Wise Latinas provides a platform for Latina writers to share their experiences in higher education and gives a voice to the many Latina women who have taken risks; embraced the new, confronted change; and maintained (and in some cases found) their roots.  

30 review for Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    La'Tonya Rease Miles

    The worst thing about this book is the title and perhaps the cover. Someone probably thought it was a good idea to capitalize on Chief Justice's phenomenal quote about being a "wise Latina," but that phrase doesn't properly capture the spirit of the essays contained within. Neither does the cover which depicts a singular, perhaps timid, woman roaming a massive courtyard or what have you. I wouldn't describe the writers as timid or lost or even wise. Rather, they are all pretty badass. The voices The worst thing about this book is the title and perhaps the cover. Someone probably thought it was a good idea to capitalize on Chief Justice's phenomenal quote about being a "wise Latina," but that phrase doesn't properly capture the spirit of the essays contained within. Neither does the cover which depicts a singular, perhaps timid, woman roaming a massive courtyard or what have you. I wouldn't describe the writers as timid or lost or even wise. Rather, they are all pretty badass. The voices span the Latin American diaspora and the authors represent different generations, as well. My personal favorite is "Scrambled Channels" by Yalitzas Ferreras, while "Rapunzel's Ladder" by Julia Alvarez is one of the best pieces I have ever read about higher education. (I wrote "A+" in the margins) In fact, this entire book may be one of the best collections I've come across. Definitely mandatory reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lilly

    This should be required reading for all Latinas entering higher education! I wish I had this book back when I was experiencing college for the first time. There were so many instances of seeing myself in the essays, my own experience in discovering I was "other" once I got to college. It was a very overdue, very welcome collection.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    Quite insightful on the link between Latina culture and the achievement of higher education.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    There aren't many books out there like this, regarding Latinas' experiences being the first in their families to attend higher education. Each story resonated with me in some way and has inspired me to eventually reach out to the editor of this book of essays and stories. I love love loved this book and I can't wait to own this, share this, and tell the whole world about it! Can't stop raving about it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marion

    So good! I read this to see if it might be worth recommending to Latina teens with whom I work, and it sure is. It was important for me to read to understand some of the challenges Latina teens may face. Many of the essays and stories were poignant and insightful. Definitely a worthwhile collection!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    There were some really captivating and relatable essays in this anthology. I'm happy that there were actually a couple of Dominican writers. I would absolutely recommend this to my young nieces and any other young Latinas heading off to college.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ramon Guerra

  8. 4 out of 5

    nic🌻

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Campaniolo

  12. 5 out of 5

    Esta Montano

  13. 5 out of 5

    Arcelia

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jhoanna

  15. 5 out of 5

    Regina Tavani

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  19. 4 out of 5

    Beatriz Salazar

  20. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carissa Ford

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jini Rae

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gail Dottin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Trish

  26. 5 out of 5

    City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pat

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary M

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

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