by Nelly Rosario
This vibrant, provocative début novel explores the dreams and struggles of three generations of Dominican women. Graciela, born on the outskirts of Santo Domingo at the turn of the century, is a headstrong adventuress who comes of age during the U.S. occupation. Too poor to travel beyond her imagination, she is frustrated by the monotony of her life, which erodes her love affairs and her relationship with Mercedes, her daughter. Mercedes, abandoned by Graciela at thirteen, turns to religion for solace and, after managing to keep a shop alive during the Trujillo dictatorship, emigrates to New York with her husband and granddaughter, Leila. Leila inherits her great-grandmother Graciela’s passion-driven recklessness. But, caught as she is between cultures, her freedom arrives with its own set of obligations and dangers.
Song of the Water Saints: A Novel
Nelly Rosario was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Brooklyn, where she now lives. She received a B.A. in engineering from MIT and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University. She was named a “Writer on the Verge” by the Village Voice Literary Supplement in 2001.