Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

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Product Details
$18.99  $17.66
Atria Books
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.3 X 0.9 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author
Raquel Cepeda, former Editor-in-Chief of OneWorld Magazine, is an award-winning journalist. She has contributed to MTV News, The Village Voice, Source, Vibe, Essence, Jalouse, and many other publications. She lives in New York City.
"I applaud Raquel Cepeda's courage and brilliance. This is an important book, shedding light on questions that many of us ask ourselves, but seldom speak about out loud."--Marcus Samuelsson, chef and author of New York Times best-seller Yes, Chef
"I hope that Raquel Cepeda's experience searching for her roots will encourage more Latinos to look at themselves with the same honesty and fierceness."--Esmeralda Santiago
"Drawing on the science of DNA testing and her own sense and experience of mysticism, Cepeda, an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker, offers a 'synthesis between logos and mythos' in a thoroughly engaging look at race from a Latina's perspective on what is touted as a post racial society."--Booklist, starred review
"A thrilling and impassioned quest into the heart of the race question and the Latino--a label as we've come to understand it. With meticulous research and refreshing honesty, Cepeda breaks the code not only of her own origins, but those of an entire people. Bird of Paradise is a necessary and important book for our time."--Patricia Engel "author of Vida "
"In Bird of Paradise, Raquel Cepeda takes on, with cultural flair and brutal honesty, what it means to be the living embodiment of a global society. A Dominican-American woman seeking the truth about her roots, Cepeda uses tools including DNA testing and her reporterly skill for teasing out family secrets. What she finds is a revelation not just for her or for Latino Americans, but for anyone who cares about the way the past connects us to the future."--Farai Chideya "author of Kiss the Sky and Don't Believe the Hype "
"Raquel Cepeda has long been one of the hip-hop community's most passionate and visionary writers and filmmakers; now, with this stunning blend of memoir and reportage, mythos and logos, we will have to share her with the world. An elegant, electric mash-up, Bird of Paradise offers resonant snapshots of a bygone New York City, family portraits saturated with beauty, honesty, and pain, captivating travelogues, and a fascinating, wide-angled look at ethnicity and identity. Cepeda's story is wrought with care and insight - and ought to increase the sale of DNA testing kits by about twelve thousand percent."--Adam Mansbach "#1 New York Times bestselling author of GO THE F**K TO SLEEP and RAGE IS BACK "
"At a time when Latinas of any age struggle with owning our voice and our identity and dealing with the mixed messages they get from this country--'We love you, we hate you! Stay! Go!'--Raquel Cepeda opens her heart and shows us all a new and real path towards the futuro, the future. I believe this book is transformational and will not only change lives, but save them too."--Maria Hinojosa, NPR and PBS anchor, and executive producer of Latino USA
"I'm so appreciative of the book. It's the science of the DNA. It's the personal narrative of the finding of the finding of the self. It's a little bit of hip-hop thrown in there. It's all those different things. It is really a lovely book."--MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry
"Cepeda's complex family history is both uniquely Latino--the book is peppered with Spanish idiom--and paradoxically universal in this nation of immigrants. It will appeal to those who watch Who Do You Think You Are? and wonder about themselves."--Library Journal
"Snappy, jazzy memoir of a Dominican upbringing by a New York journalist and documentary filmmaker...asserts that constructing one's identity requires expressing and celebrating its makeup."--Kirkus Reviews
"A beautiful story of reconciliation and redemption." --The Huffington Post
"...a fascinating mix of different avenues of spiritual influences."--International Society of Genetic Genealogy