¡Ándale, Prieta! coming from Cinco Puntos Press
Yasmin Ramirez is a 2020 recipient of the Woody and Gayle Hunt-Aspen Institute Fellowship Award as well as a 2018 Dickinson House Fellow. Her fiction and creative non-fiction works have appeared in Cream City Review and Huizache among others. She is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at El Paso Community College. She stays active in the literary community and serves on the board of, BorderSenses, a literary non-profit. ¡Ándale, Prieta! will be her first book. For more information about Yasmin visit her website yasminramirez.com
How would you describe your memoir?
¡Ándale, Prieta! highlights biculturalism in a non-traditional family on the El Paso/Mexico border. Simply put, it’s Bildungsroman from a Latina perspective.
It spans from the 80’s to current day, told through the eyes of “Prieta” [the nickname given to Yasmín by her grandmother] as I grow up and learn more about my grandmother, Ita, after her death. Her strength, life, the rules she broke, and her break away from the traditional Latinx grandmother. All this is visible in the secret of her abortions (which the family calls miscarriages), her many marriages, and her struggles with domestic abuse.
It takes the Latinx narrative a step forward by showing how culture stays/changes and illustrates the delicate balance of being Mexican American.
What inspired you to write it?
The book began as a way to heal and honor my grandmother after her death, but over time, it became my story and my family’s.
What do you hope readers take away from your book?
What I would like readers to take away from my work is the strength in the mostly female family. The memoir highlights the lives of my family after living several generations in the borderland. Ita the bartender, her daughter the U.S. Customs agent, her two granddaughters a writer and a nurse. It shows how much we grew on the foundation Ita, and those before her, provided. How even though there were a lot of hiccups, family is still family, and how we define it and the roles we play don’t have to be locked into traditional ideas.