Wise Latinas


Wise Latinas

Writers on Higher Education

Edited and with an introduction by Jennifer De Leon

240 pages


March 2014


$25.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

College can be a complex time for Latinas, who are traditionally expected to leave home when they get married. In her essay “Only Daughter,” author Sandra Cisneros remarks, “After four years in college and two more in graduate school, and still no husband, my father shakes his head even now and says I wasted all that education.”

Wise Latinas is a collection of personal essays addressing the varied landscape of the Latina experience in higher education. For some Latinas, college, where they are vastly underrepresented, is the first time they are immersed in American culture outside their homes—and where the values of two cultures often clash. Wise Latinas is in part a response to this widening gap.

Featuring acclaimed writers such as Sandra Cisneros, Norma Cantú, and Julia Alvarez, to name a few, Wise Latinas shows that there is no one Latina college experience. With thoughtful and engaging pieces, Wise Latinas provides a platform for Latina writers to share their experiences in higher education and gives a voice to the many Latina women who have taken risks; embraced the new, confronted change; and maintained (and in some cases found) their roots.


Author Bio

Jennifer De Leon is a teacher in the Boston Public Schools district and an instructor at the Grub Street Creative Writing Center. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Fourth Genre, Ms. Magazine, Poets & Writers, The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010, and elsewhere.


"The abundance of high-quality material makes the book hard to put down."—Kirkus

"[Wise Latinas] holds relevance for any young person setting out of their homes for the first time."—Ru Freeman, Huffington Post

“An extraordinary collection of testimonies. There is plenty of honesty and no pretension in the voices included in Wise Latinas. These essays elicit the gamut of emotions from the reader, from chuckles to gasps to tears. An excellent anthology.”—Rigoberto González, author of Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa


“On the most fundamental level, Wise Latinas aims to provide models for other Latinas. . . . [It was] a joy to read this book, and a reminder of the footsteps that we all trace.”—Marta Caminero-Santangelo, author of On Latinidad: U.S. Latino Literature and the Construction of Ethnicity

Table of Contents

Souce Acknowledgments
   Jennifer De Leon
I. World's Apart
Going the Distance
   Blanca Torres
Scrambled Channels
   Yalitza Ferreras
   Gail M. Dottin
   Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Leaving Miami
   Chantel Acevedo
II. Rooms of Our Own
Las Otras
   Celeste Guzman Mendoza
Pancakes at 2 a.m.
   Stephanie Elizondo Griest
   Iris Gomez
Stories She Told Us
   Daisy Herández
Who Goes to College?
   Cecilia Rodriguez Milanés
I'm Living in a Foreign Country
   Toni Margarita Plummer
My Stalker
   Loraine M. López
III. Inside These Academic Walls
Rapunzel's Ladder
   Julia Alvarez
Derrumbando Muros along an Academic Path
   Norma Elia Cantú
On Becoming Educated
   Joy Castro
La Silla
   Ruth Behar
IV. In Tribute, In Time
The Weight of Paper
   Beatriz Terrazas
To My Younger Self
   Erika Martínez
After Yale
   Li Yun Alvarado
How to Leave Hialeah
   Jennine Capó Crucet
Only Daughter
   Sandra Cisneros


2015 International Latino Book Award Finalist for Most Inspirational Nonfiction Book in English, Best Women’s Issues Book, and Best Nonfiction/Multi-Author

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