America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
A Novel

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America Is Not the Heart is at its most moving when tracking the small, arduous steps by which integration actually happens, whether social, cultural or emotional. It seems that some dreams, albeit the ones not outsized enough to be blazoned in neon, can come true in America after all.
-Guardian

Synopsis

"A saga rich with origin myths, national and personal . . . Castillo is part of a younger generation of American writers instilling literature with a layered sense of identity." --Vogue

How many lives fit in a lifetime?

When Hero De Vera arrives in America--haunted by the political upheaval in the Philippines and disowned by her parents--she's already on her third. Her uncle gives her a fresh start in the Bay Area, and he doesn't ask about her past. His younger wife knows enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. But their daughter--the first American-born daughter in the family--can't resist asking Hero about her damaged hands.

An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history. With exuberance, grit, and sly tenderness, here is a family saga; an origin story; a romance; a narrative of two nations and the people who leave one home to grasp at another.
 

About Elaine Castillo

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Published April 3, 2018 by Viking. 416 pages
Genres: History, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for America Is Not the Heart
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Ligaya Mishan on May 02 2018

The book, like its characters, roams freely among languages: English, Tagalog, Ilocano and Pangasinan. Castillo subtly makes the meaning of words known without direct translation, reminding us how much conversation consists of chain-links and muscle memory — of words that are felt more than understood.

Read Full Review of America Is Not the Heart: A N... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Benjamin Evans on May 27 2018

America Is Not the Heart is at its most moving when tracking the small, arduous steps by which integration actually happens, whether social, cultural or emotional. It seems that some dreams, albeit the ones not outsized enough to be blazoned in neon, can come true in America after all.

Read Full Review of America Is Not the Heart: A N... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Rowan hisayo buchanan on May 23 2018

Although the book is thick, it is a small vessel to contain all that Castillo slips in. She has brought a whole community to the page.

Read Full Review of America Is Not the Heart: A N... | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for America Is Not the Heart
77%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 11 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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