“This is probably because I had yet to read a book by a person of color, let alone a Latina, Caribbean, Dominican women like me,” she recalled in a recent interview with AL DIA News.
Cruz has just published her fourth novel, How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water (Flatiron, Sept 13) a story starring Cara Romero, a Dominican American woman in her mid-50s who loses her job in a lamp factory during the 2008 recession and she is forced back into the job market for the first time in decades. Over the course of her sessions with a job counselor, Cara recounts her tempestuous love affairs, her alternately biting and loving relationships with her neighbor Lulu and her sister Angela, her struggles with debt, gentrifi cation and loss, and, eventually, what really happened between her and her estranged son, Fernando.
“Cara Romero was born in 2017 when Trump was president and I was feeling a lot of despair in my life. I had not found a publisher for my previous book, Dominicana, and I was seriously thinking about going back to school to study immigration law or some field where I could really help people. But then one day while waiting for a train in NYC just when I wanted to quit this entire writing business Cara Romero began speaking to me,” the author recalled.
“I wrote everything she said to me. I never had a fictional character speak to me so clearly. She reminded me why stories matter. How listening to other people’s stories can be medicine for both the storyteller and listener,” Cruz added.
The truth is that stories have always been present in Cruz’s life.
By Andrea Rodés
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