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"Gorgeous writing, gorgeous story." -- Sandra Cisneros

"An essential read for our times." -- Cristina Garcia

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn't matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year's Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan's free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.

As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family's assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.

In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.

About the Author

Angie Cruz

Angie Cruz was conceived in Dominican Republic and born in 1972 in New York City's Washington Heights. She continued to travel to and from, every summer, until she was sixteen years old. She went to La Guardia High School concentrating on Visual Arts and by default decided to follow a path in Fashion Design at Fashion Institute of Technology. During those four years of college, she worked as a salesperson, manager and then window designer in an upscale Madison Ave. boutique. In 1993, four of her children stories were featured on BET's Story Porch. Soon after, she gave up her fashionista lifestyle to become a full-time college student at SUNY Binghamton where her love affair with literature and history began. She graduated from the NYU, MFA program in 1999. Her passion for literature fueled her desire to be active in community. In 1997, she co-founded WILL: Women In Literature & Letters with Adelina Anthony and Marta Lucia, an organization that produced readings, workshops, and a conference using literature as a tool to build community and transform society. In 2000, WILL was put on hold due to lack of resources and the women's desire to make more time to write. Angie Cruz has contributed shorter works to numerous periodicals including Latina Magazine, Callaloo and New York Times. She has won awards for her writing and/or activist work such as The New York Foundation of The Arts Fellowship, Barbara Deming Award, Yaddo, and The Camargo Fellowship. She published two novels, Soledad and Let It Rain Coffee. She currently is working on the screenplay for Soledad, optioned by Nueva York Productions and working on her third novel.

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