9780807062920

A Cup of Water Under my Bed

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780807062920

  • ISBN10:

    0807062928

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2015-09-08
  • Publisher: Beacon Press

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Summary

A coming-of-age memoir by a Colombian-Cuban woman about shaping lessons from home into a new, queer life
 
In this lyrical, coming-of-age memoir, Daisy Hernández chronicles what the women in her Cuban-Colombian family taught her about love, money, and race. Her mother warns her about envidia and men who seduce you with pastries, while one tía bemoans that her niece is turning out to be “una india” instead of an American. Another auntie instructs that when two people are close, they are bound to become like uña y mugre, fingernails and dirt, and that no, Daisy’s father is not godless. He’s simply praying to a candy dish that can be traced back to Africa. 

These lessons—rooted in women’s experiences of migration, colonization, y cariño—define in evocative detail what it means to grow up female in an immigrant home. In one story, Daisy sets out to defy the dictates of race and class that preoccupy her mother and tías, but dating women and transmen, and coming to identify as bisexual, leads her to unexpected questions. In another piece, NAFTA shuts local factories in her hometown on the outskirts of New York City, and she begins translating unemployment forms for her parents, moving between English and Spanish, as well as private and collective fears. In prose that is both memoir and commentary, Daisy reflects on reporting for the New York Times as the paper is rocked by the biggest plagiarism scandal in its history and plunged into debates about the role of race in the newsroom.

A heartfelt exploration of family, identity, and language, A Cup of Water Under My Bed is ultimately a daughter’s story of finding herself and her community, and of creating a new, queer life.

Author Biography

Daisy Hernández is the coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism and the former editor of ColorLines magazine. She speaks at colleges and conferences about feminism, race, and media representations, and her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Ms. magazine, CultureStrike, In These Times, Bellingham Review, Fourth Genre, and Hunger Mountain, and on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Table of Contents

Condemned

One

Before Love, Memory

Stories She Tells Us

The Candy Dish

A Cup of Water Under My Bed

Two

Even If I Kiss a Woman

Queer Narratives

Qué India

Three

Only Ricos Have Credit

My Father’s Hands

Black Out

Después

Agradecimientos

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