CLAUDIA D. HERNÁNDEZ
RECIPIENT OF THE 2018 LOUISE MERIWETHER FIRST BOOK PRIZE
Knitting The Fog Book Launch (Feminist Press)
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, California 90027
Claudia D. Hernández’s stunning debut is the winner of the Feminist Press’s second annual Louise Meriwether First Book Prize—an award dedicated to publishing a debut work by a woman or nonbinary author of color.
Weaving together narrative essay and bilingual poetry, Knitting the Fog is the complex self-portrait of a young Chapina girl who wakes up to find her mother gone. When her mother returns three years later, they begin a month-long journey to El Norte.
Once settled in California, Claudia has trouble assimilating--she doesn't speak English, and her Spanish is "weird"--but when back in Guatemala, she is startled to find she no longer belongs there either. Hernández alternates between lyrical prose and poetry, English and Spanish, to tell the human story of one girl—her struggles, her triumphs, and her growing sense of self—as she navigates a turbulent world in the eighties and nineties. It is a story told in unforgettable vignettes, and is a vivid portrait of immigration, both specific to its time and as timely as ever.
Praise for Knitting the Fog:
"In Knitting the Fog, Hernández eloquently captures the hardship, joy, magic, and resilience of three generations of women enduring 'the battles of this dream'--border after border--from the family home in Mayuelas, Guatemala, through the desert across the Río Bravo, to the streets of Los Angeles. Magnificent!" --Carol Potter, author of Some Slow Bees
"Knitting the Fog brings us the immigrant experience in a refreshingly new light. This memoir of hybrid forms--moving evocatively between poetry and prose--is not only timely but resonant in sense of place and purpose. How exciting that Hernández's voice joins the canon of contemporary Latina stories." --Bridgett M. Davis, author of The World According to Fannie Davis
"This debut gives tender and keen insight into the experience of migrating north to the US and the challenges a preteen faces integrating into the 'Promised Land.'" --Ana Castillo, author of Black Dove: Mamá, Mi'jo, and Me
CLAUDIA D. HERNANDEZ is currently based in Los Angeles—the same city she and her family migrated to when she was a child. Hernández is a poet, editor, translator, and bilingual educator, and writes in English and Spanish, and sometimes weaves in Poqomchi’, an indigenous language of her Mayan heritage.
JOSIE MENDEZ NEGRETE Professor of Sociology teaches Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She was Lead Editor of Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social from 2009 to 2014. Her first book, Las Hijas de Juan: Daughters Betrayed, was published by Duke University Press as a revised edition in 2006 and 2010. Her current book A Life on Hold: Living with Schizophrenia published New Mexico University Press July 15, 2015. She continues to workshop a two-scene play based on A Life on Hold, as well as Cancionera Naci: Toña La Negra—a multimedia one-woman show that engages a discussion on the third root or African presence in Mexico. With various articles and chapter on books, her most recent project is a social history of activist leaders in San José, California, it is entitled Chicana/o Activist Leaders in San José, California--1930s to 1994: En sus propias voces. With her impending retirement, as an Emerita Professor, Méndez-Negrete expects to fully engage in the production of new books through Conocimientos Press, her independent venue for publication.