Poet, novelist, and essayist, Erika L. Sanchez was a Fulbright Scholar, CantoMundo Fellowship recipient, and Bread Loaf Scholar. Her debut young adult novel, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter”, is a New York Times Bestseller and was named a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
In this episode, Erika walks us through how she pushed through the difficulty of finding a job during the recession. We discuss why it’s crucial to live for yourself and to live truthfully, and for writers, we talk about how to alleviate writer’s block.
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“If you’re not surprising yourself, you’re not surprising the reader.”
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- How Erika pushed through the difficulty of finding a job during the recession
- Why it’s crucial to live for yourself and to live truthfully
- How to alleviate writers block
Named a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the book is a timely, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny contemporary novel about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican American home.
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.
But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.
Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?
Learn More About Erika L. Sánchez
Erika L. Sánchez is a poet, novelist and essayist living in Chicago. Erika was a Fulbright Scholar, CantoMundo Fellowship recipient, and Bread Loaf Scholar. Most recently, she was a columnist for Cosmopolitan for Latinas, and has written for Salon, Rolling Stone, Jezebel, The Guardian and BuzzFeed. As a daughter of undocumented Mexican immigrants, Erika has always been determined to defy borders of any kind.
Books Mentioned in Erika’s Episode:
What Girls Are Made of by Elana K. Arnold