Vida: Book summary and reviews of Vida by Patricia Engel

Vida

By Patricia Engel

Vida
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2010,
    176 pages.

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Book Summary

Paperback Original. Fresh, accomplished, and fearless, Vida marks the debut of Patricia Engel, a young author of immense talent and promise. Vida follows a single narrator, Sabina, as she navigates her shifting identity as a daughter of the Colombian diaspora and struggles to find her place within and beyond the net of her strong, protective, but embattled family..

In "Lucho," Sabina’s family - 'already foreigners in a town of blancos' is shunned by the community when a relative commits an unspeakable act of violence, but she is in turn befriended by the town bad boy who has a secret of his own; in "Desaliento," Sabina surrounds herself with other young drifters who spend their time looking for love and then fleeing from it - until reality catches up with one of them; and in "Vida," the urgency of Sabina's self-imposed exile in Miami fades when she meets an enigmatic Colombian woman with a tragic past.

Patricia Engel maps landscapes both actual and interior in this stunning debut, and the constant throughout is Sabina - serious, witty, alternately cautious and reckless, open to transformation yet skeptical of its lasting power. Infused by a hard-won, edgy wisdom, Vida introduces a sensational new literary voice.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Engel's prose is refreshingly devoid of pomp" - Publishers Weekly

"Edgy, perceptive, and razor sharp." - Kirkus Reviews

"Gloriously gifted and alarmingly intelligent, Engel writes with an almost fable-like intensity. Her ability to pierce the hearts of her crazy-ass characters, to fracture a moment into its elementary particles of yearning, cruelty, love and confusion will leave you breathless." - Junot Díaz

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