New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz is releasing his first-ever children’s book in March which celebrates cultural diversity in the U.S. and poses questions about identity and belonging. The story is told through an imaginary journey back to a young girl’s birthplace, “The Island.” Here is everything you need to know about it:
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Islandborn is set to be on shelves March 13th, and it’s already generating excitement as Díaz’s readers await the chance to meet him in person on his book tour, which begins in March and ends in April. The tour will take the author to schools, libraries, and bookstores around the country. All information on the tour is in the infographic below:
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The picture book is illustrated by Leo Espinosa, who Díaz says is able to “capture magnificently the intimacy, the ternura, between little Lola, the subject of the book, and her abuela.” Of the story itself, Díaz says in an interview:
When I wrote Islandborn I thought it was about a young woman’s ability to connect to her home and her family with her imagination, but when I’d completed it I realised it was really about the ways that communities create themselves and young people play a big role in that labor.
The story begins when Lola’s teacher asks her students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from. All the kids are excited about the project except Lola, because she can’t remember the island she left when she was just a baby. She soon sees that with the help of her friends’ and family’s memories, her imagination is what will take her on an extraordinary journey back to her birthplace.
Díaz says of Islandborn that “it is a book promised all those years ago for my goddaughters and anyone who has ever wondered about their family’s ‘faraway place.'”
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Díaz turns his remarkable talent to the haunting, impossible power of love – obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in This Is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.
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