America Is Not the Heart
Longlisted for the Aspen Literary Prize, 2019
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, 2018
Longlisted for Elle’s Big Book Award, 2018
Evening Standard’s Wander List Guide to 2019 Getaways
How many lives can one person lead in a single lifetime?
When Hero De Vera arrives in America, disowned by her parents in the Philippines, she’s already on her third. Her uncle, Pol, who has offered her a fresh start and a place to stay in the Bay Area, knows not to ask about the first and second. And his younger wife, Paz, has learned enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. Only their daughter Roni asks Hero why her hands seem to scream with hurt at the steering wheel of the car she drives to collect her from school, and only Rosalyn, the fierce but open-hearted beautician, has any hope of bringing Hero back from the dead.
A fascinating portrait... Gracefully lyrical * The National * Elaine Castillo's full-throated debut, America is Not the Heart is quite simply one of the best first novels I've ever read. * John Freeman, Lit Hub * If peaches were the most tender fruit of 2017 thanks to Call Me By Your Name, this year prepare to have your heart melted by a persimmon. * AnOther Magazine * This is the book I didn't know I needed. This unexpected family, this history, this embrace of the sacred and the profane, this easy humour, this deeply felt human-ness, this messy, perfect love story. * Jade Chang, bestselling author of 'Wangs vs the World' * Wondrous. A nimble, vibrant, deeply moving feat, full of heart, humour and wisdom. * Irenosen Okojie, author of 'Speak Gigantular' * Glorious... a sharp, bracing, often hilarious family epic about a young woman tormented by the relentless ghosts of her past while in search of an American Dream that is not always available to those who seek it. * Samantha Irby, New York Times Bestselling author of 'We Are Never Meeting in Real Life' * An intimate epic about immigrant women's losses, triumphs and desires. A bold, tender debut; its characters thrum with life. * Luiza Sauma, author of 'Flesh and Bone and Water' * Epic in its scale, sharp-as slam-poetry on the sentence level. Profound and mesmerising. * Meena Kandasamy, author of 'When I Hit You' * Beautifully tender, and a powerfully crafted portrayal of intimacy and the rawness of human emotion that will linger with you long after you've finished reading it. * Otegha Uwagba, author of the Sunday Times bestseller 'Little Black Book' * A gorgeous saga... Wonderful * Stylist * Entrancing and magnificent * NoViolet Bulawayo, author of 'We Need New Names' * Epic, soaring, brilliant * Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti * There is so much to love about this book * The Pool * This book is it: one of the best debut novels (and novels, period) of recent years * Elle * Critical and compelling * New York Times * Radical... I was startled at how moved I was -- Rowan Hisayo Buchanan * Guardian * Blazingly fearless... Castillo is hugely talented * Observer *
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