Caramelo Puro cuento

Sandra Cisneros

Book - 2003

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Subjects
Published
Nueva York : Vintage Español 2003.
Edition
1. ed. de Vintage Español
Language
Spanish
Physical Description
467 p. ; 21 cm
ISBN
1400030994
9781400030996
Main Author
Sandra Cisneros (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

/*Starred Review*/ The author's long-awaited second novel (following The House on Mango Street, 1984) is a sweeping, fictionalized history of her Mexican American family. When Celaya (or "Lala") Reyes takes a family vacation from Chicago to Mexico City, she begins a journey from girl to young adult and from the present to the past. Generous digressions trace roots and branches on the luxuriant family tree, telling the tales of ancestors, family members, and sometimes even walk-on players. The book's title refers to an unfinished, candy-colored rebozo (shawl) that comes to symbolize both the interconnectedness of all these individual histories and the author's act of weaving them together. Still, the focus is on Lala, her papa, and the Awful Grandmother, the last a truly wonderful literary creation-- a despotic matriarch guaranteed to frighten young and old but whose wounds, once revealed, are a revelation. By book's end, the different threads of these three lives are snugged into a tight knot. Cisneros combines a real respect for history with a playful sense of how lies often tell the greatest truths--the characters, narrator, and author all play fast and loose with the facts. But, Lala learns, the ability to write your own history also means you must take special care in choosing your fate. The author's gorgeous prose, on-a-dime turns of phrase, and sumptuous scene-setting make this an unforgettable read. ((Reviewed August 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

Review by Booklist Reviews

/*Starred Review*/ The author's long-awaited second novel (following The House on Mango Street, 1984) is a sweeping, fictionalized history of her Mexican American family. When Celaya (or "Lala") Reyes takes a family vacation from Chicago to Mexico City, she begins a journey from girl to young adult and from the present to the past. Generous digressions trace roots and branches on the luxuriant family tree, telling the tales of ancestors, family members, and sometimes even walk-on players. The book's title refers to an unfinished, candy-colored rebozo (shawl) that comes to symbolize both the interconnectedness of all these individual histories and the author's act of weaving them together. Still, the focus is on Lala, her papa, and the Awful Grandmother, the last a truly wonderful literary creation-- a despotic matriarch guaranteed to frighten young and old but whose wounds, once revealed, are a revelation. By book's end, the different threads of these three lives are snugged into a tight knot. Cisneros combines a real respect for history with a playful sense of how lies often tell the greatest truths--the characters, narrator, and author all play fast and loose with the facts. But, Lala learns, the ability to write your own history also means you must take special care in choosing your fate. The author's gorgeous prose, on-a-dime turns of phrase, and sumptuous scene-setting make this an unforgettable read. ((Reviewed August 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

With this new work about a Mexican American family of shawl-makers the most beautiful of their creations being the caramelo Cisneros will undoubtedly prove once again why she received a so-called MacArthur genius award. With a 150,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Raucous, spirited, and brimming with energy, Cisneros's latest is less a novel than a landscape. Readers are carried along with Lala Reyes's family as they routinely motor between Chicago and Mexico to visit the Little Grandfather and the Awful Grandmother. Joining them on this journey are the families of Uncle Fat-Face and Uncle Baby, and it's no surprise that along the way painful secrets emerge, sibling rivalries flare up, and the Americanized children find themselves in a head-on cultural clash with the Awful Grandmother. The text is deftly shot through with references to Mexican and American popular culture, and with all the comings and goings this work could have felt as lumpy as someone's first try at knitting. But Cisneros has the talent to render a narrative as beautifully blended as the fabric in the caramelo, the singular striped shawl Lala inherits from her grandmother, descendant of a renowned shawl-making family. Those who remember the pointillist prose of Woman Hollering Creek will be impressed to see that Cisneros knows how to travel. Important for all libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/02; for an interview with Cisneros, see p. 90.-Ed.]-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

With this new work about a Mexican American family of shawl-makers the most beautiful of their creations being the caramelo Cisneros will undoubtedly prove once again why she received a so-called MacArthur genius award. With a 150,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Raucous, spirited, and brimming with energy, Cisneros's latest is less a novel than a landscape. Readers are carried along with Lala Reyes's family as they routinely motor between Chicago and Mexico to visit the Little Grandfather and the Awful Grandmother. Joining them on this journey are the families of Uncle Fat-Face and Uncle Baby, and it's no surprise that along the way painful secrets emerge, sibling rivalries flare up, and the Americanized children find themselves in a head-on cultural clash with the Awful Grandmother. The text is deftly shot through with references to Mexican and American popular culture, and with all the comings and goings this work could have felt as lumpy as someone's first try at knitting. But Cisneros has the talent to render a narrative as beautifully blended as the fabric in the caramelo, the singular striped shawl Lala inherits from her grandmother, descendant of a renowned shawl-making family. Those who remember the pointillist prose of Woman Hollering Creek will be impressed to see that Cisneros knows how to travel. Important for all libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/02; for an interview with Cisneros, see p. 90.-Ed.]-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"Uncle Fat-Face's brand-new used white Cadillac, Uncle Baby's green Impala, Father's red Chevrolet station wagon" the parade of cars that ushers in Cisneros's first novel since The House on Mango Street (1984) is headed to Mexico City from Chicago, bearing three Mexican-American families on their yearly visit to Awful Grandmother and Little Grandfather. Celaya or "Lala," the youngest child of seven and the only daughter of Inocencio and Zoila Reyes, charts the family's movements back and forth across the border and through time in this sprawling, kaleidoscopic, Spanish-laced tale. The sensitive and observant Lala feels lost in the noisy shuffle, but she inherits the family stories from her grandmother, who comes from a clan of shawl makers and throughout her life has kept her mother's unfinished striped shawl, or caramelo rebozo, containing all the heartache and joy of her family. When she, and later Lala, wear the rebozo and suck on the fringes, they are reminded of where they come from, and those who came before them. In cramped and ever-changing apartments and houses, the teenaged Lala seeks time and space for self-exploration, finally coming to an understanding of herself through the prism of her grandmother. Cisneros was also the only girl in a family of seven, and this is clearly anautobiographical work. Its testaments to cross-generational trauma and rapture grow repetitive, but Cisneros's irrepressible enthusiasm, inspired riffs on any number of subjects (tortillas, telenovelas, La-Z-Boys, Woolworth's), hilarious accounts of family gatherings and pitch-perfect bilingual dialogue make this a landmark work. (Sept. 30) Forecast: Cisneros is arguably the writer who put Mexican-American culture on the map, and the appearance of her second novel after nearly 20 years (she is also the author of two poetry collections and a short story collection, Woman Hollering Creek) will be a major literary event. A 20-city author tour and an extensive ad/promo campaign should feed the fire, and a 150,000 first printing is planned. Orale! Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"Uncle Fat-Face's brand-new used white Cadillac, Uncle Baby's green Impala, Father's red Chevrolet station wagon" the parade of cars that ushers in Cisneros's first novel since The House on Mango Street (1984) is headed to Mexico City from Chicago, bearing three Mexican-American families on their yearly visit to Awful Grandmother and Little Grandfather. Celaya or "Lala," the youngest child of seven and the only daughter of Inocencio and Zoila Reyes, charts the family's movements back and forth across the border and through time in this sprawling, kaleidoscopic, Spanish-laced tale. The sensitive and observant Lala feels lost in the noisy shuffle, but she inherits the family stories from her grandmother, who comes from a clan of shawl makers and throughout her life has kept her mother's unfinished striped shawl, or caramelo rebozo, containing all the heartache and joy of her family. When she, and later Lala, wear the rebozo and suck on the fringes, they are reminded of where they come from, and those who came before them. In cramped and ever-changing apartments and houses, the teenaged Lala seeks time and space for self-exploration, finally coming to an understanding of herself through the prism of her grandmother. Cisneros was also the only girl in a family of seven, and this is clearly anautobiographical work. Its testaments to cross-generational trauma and rapture grow repetitive, but Cisneros's irrepressible enthusiasm, inspired riffs on any number of subjects (tortillas, telenovelas, La-Z-Boys, Woolworth's), hilarious accounts of family gatherings and pitch-perfect bilingual dialogue make this a landmark work. (Sept. 30) Forecast: Cisneros is arguably the writer who put Mexican-American culture on the map, and the appearance of her second novel after nearly 20 years (she is also the author of two poetry collections and a short story collection, Woman Hollering Creek) will be a major literary event. A 20-city author tour and an extensive ad/promo campaign should feed the fire, and a 150,000 first printing is planned. Orale! Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Adult/High School-A rich family tale, based on Cisneros's own childhood. Although lengthy, the book will appeal to many teens, particularly girls, because of its compelling coming-of-age theme and its array of eccentric, romantic characters. Celaya Reyes, called LaLa, is the youngest and the only girl among seven siblings. The book follows her from infancy to adolescence as she grows up in a noisy, disputatious, and loving clan of Mexican Americans struggling to be successful in the United States while remaining true to their cultural heritage. The Reyes's annual car journey from Chicago to Mexico City for a visit with the matriarch known as "The Awful Grandmother" is both a trial and a treat for LaLa. The imaginative and sensitive girl often feels lost within the family hilarity and histrionics, but she gradually forms an uneasy bond with her grandmother, inheriting from her the family stories, legends, and scandals. Eventually LaLa fashions these into a weave of "healthy lies" that chronicles the movements and adventures, both factual and imaginary, of several lively generations above and below the border. Her telling is a skillful blending of many narrative threads, creating a whole as colorful and charming as the heirloom striped shawl that gives the novel its title.-Starr E. Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Adult/High School-A rich family tale, based on Cisneros's own childhood. Although lengthy, the book will appeal to many teens, particularly girls, because of its compelling coming-of-age theme and its array of eccentric, romantic characters. Celaya Reyes, called LaLa, is the youngest and the only girl among seven siblings. The book follows her from infancy to adolescence as she grows up in a noisy, disputatious, and loving clan of Mexican Americans struggling to be successful in the United States while remaining true to their cultural heritage. The Reyes's annual car journey from Chicago to Mexico City for a visit with the matriarch known as "The Awful Grandmother" is both a trial and a treat for LaLa. The imaginative and sensitive girl often feels lost within the family hilarity and histrionics, but she gradually forms an uneasy bond with her grandmother, inheriting from her the family stories, legends, and scandals. Eventually LaLa fashions these into a weave of "healthy lies" that chronicles the movements and adventures, both factual and imaginary, of several lively generations above and below the border. Her telling is a skillful blending of many narrative threads, creating a whole as colorful and charming as the heirloom striped shawl that gives the novel its title.-Starr E. Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

During her family's annual car trip from Chicago to Mexico City, Lala Reyes listens to stories about her family, including her grandmother, the descendant of a renowned dynasty of shawl makers, whose magnificent striped shawl has come into Lala's possession.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

During her family's annual car trip from Chicago to Mexico City, Lala Reyes listens to stories about her family, including her grandmother, the descendant of a renowned dynasty of shawl makers, whose magnificent striped (or caramelo) shawl has come into Lala's possession, in a multi-generational saga of a Mexican-American family. (General Fiction)

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Sandra Cisneros, the award-winning author of the highly acclaimed The House on Mango Street and several other esteemed works, has produced a stunning new novel, Caramelo. This long-anticipated novel is an all-embracing epic of family history, Mexican history, the Mexican-American immigrant experience, and a young Mexican-American woman's road to adulthood. We hope the following questions, discussion topics, and author biography enhance your group's reading of this captivating and masterful literary work. Born the seventh child and only daughter to Zoila and Inocencio Reyes, Celaya Reyes spent her childhood traveling back and forth between her family's home in Chicago to her father's birth home in Mexico City, Mexico. Celaya's intimidating paternal grandmother, adored and revered by Celaya's father, dominates these visits, and Celaya dubs her the Awful Grandmother. Celaya's story begins one summer in Mexico when she was just a little girl, but soon her girlhood experiences segue back in time–to before Celaya was born–to her grandparents' history. Celaya traces the Awful Grandmother's lonely and unhappy childhood in a Mexico ravaged by the Mexican revolution of 1911, her meeting and ultimate union with Celaya's grandfather, Narciso Reyes (the Little Grandfather), and the birth of their first and favorite son, Celaya's father, Inocencio. Inocencio Reyes moves to the United States as a young man, and soon meets Zoila, a Mexican-American woman, with her own colorful mixed-Mexican parentage. Celaya develops the portrait of her parents' love-based, but volatile, marriage and the growth of their own Mexican-American family. After the Little Grandfather's death, the family moves the Awful Grandmother up to the United States with them, first to Chicago, then to San Antonio. Soon afterward, the Awful Grandmother dies, leaving her teenage granddaughter to struggle with her unresolved relationship with her late grandmother. Through her grandmother's history, Celaya discovers her own Mexican-American heritage, enabling her ultimately to carve out an identity of her own in the two countries she inhabits and that inhabit her–Mexico and America. As the family's self-appointed historian, or storyteller, Celaya's tale weaves Mexican social, political, and military history around intimate family secrets and the stormy and often mysterious relationships among multiple generations of family members. The marvelous, often riotous cast of characters that march through time and across the North American continent ranges from close family members to Mexican-American icons of popular culture that have random encounters with the Reyes family. (Remember Senor Wences with his painted talking hand (p. 224)?  The spirited, likeable characters, while at times mythological in their characteristics, are always intensely human in their flaws and emotions. While each character can claim equal footing in the Reyes web of family and history, each holds a role of differing significance in Celaya's personal odyssey of connecting to her roots and carving her future.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

La célebre autora de La casa en Mango Street, y ganadora del PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature 2019, nos ofrece una nueva y extraordinaria novela narrada en un lenguaje de una originalidad arro-lladora: es la historia de varias generaciones de una familia méxicoamericana cuyas voces crean un des-lumbrante y vivo tapiz de humor y de pasión, hecho con la esencia misma de la vida.La abuela de Lala Reyes es descendiente de una familia de afamados reboceros. El rebozo de rayas color caramelo es el más bello de todos y aquél que llega a pertenecer a Lala, al igual que la historia familiar que éste representa. La novela comienza con el viaje anual en automóvil de los Reyes—una caravana desbordante de niños, risas y pleitos— desde Chicago hasta el «otro lado»: la Ciudad de México. Es aquí que Lala cada año escucha las historias de su familia y trata de separar la verdad de las «mentiras sanas» que han resonado de una generación a otra. Viajamos desde la Ciudad de México, que era el «París del Nuevo Mundo» a las calles llenas de música de Chicago en los albores de los locos años veinte y, finalmente, a la difícil adolescencia de Lala en la tierra no tan exactamente prometida de San Antonio, Texas.Caramelo es una historia sabia, vital y romántica, sobre el lugar de origen, algunas veces real, algu-nas veces imaginado. Vívida, graciosa, íntima e histórica, es una obra brillante destinada a convertirse en un clásico: una nueva novela de gran importancia de una de las escritoras más queridas de nuestro país.ENGLISH DESCRIPTIONFrom the winner of the 2018 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. Every year, Ceyala “Lala” Reyes' family—aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, and Lala's six older brothers—packs up three cars and, in a wild ride, drive from Chicago to the Little Grandfather and Awful Grandmother's house in Mexico City for the summer. Struggling to find a voice above the boom of her brothers and to understand her place on this side of the border and that, Lala is a shrewd observer of family life. But when she starts telling the Awful Grandmother's life story, seeking clues to how she got to be so awful, grandmother accuses Lala of exaggerating. Soon, a multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life. Like the cherished rebozo, or shawl, that has been passed down through generations of Reyes women, Caramelo is alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love.