How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water: A Novel (Hardcover)
“One of my favorite books I have read in years.” —Quiara Alegria Hudes, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter of In the Heights
From the beloved author of Dominicana, a GMA Book Club Pick and Women’s Prize Finalist, an electrifying and indelible new novel about a woman who has lost everything but the chance to finally tell her story.
Write this down: Cara Romero wants to work.
Cara Romero thought she would work at the factory of little lamps for the rest of her life. But when, in her mid-50s, she loses her job in the Great Recession, she is forced back into the job market for the first time in decades. Set up with a job counselor, Cara instead begins to narrate the story of her life. Over the course of twelve sessions, Cara recounts her tempestuous love affairs, her alternately biting and loving relationships with her neighbor Lulu and her sister Angela, her struggles with debt, gentrification and loss, and, eventually, what really happened between her and her estranged son, Fernando. As Cara confronts her darkest secrets and regrets, we see a woman buffeted by life but still full of fight.
Structurally inventive and emotionally kaleidoscopic, How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water is Angie Cruz’s most ambitious and moving novel yet, and Cara is a heroine for the ages.
“An absolute masterpiece—where to begin? I could tell you about this novel's innovative structure, its riveting story, its glorious and hilarious voice, its satisfactions as a page-turner, or its exquisite poetics that draw on immigrant brilliance. I could tell you it’s a stunning exploration of survival, queerness, family, resilience, and the possibilities forged by love. All of that is true. This book is a miracle; prepare to be astonished.”
—Carolina De Robertis, author of Cantoras and The President and the Frog
“Absolutely gorgeous. I’m head over heels in love with and moved by Cara Romero. This book is full full full, holding so much life with an effervescent light touch. One of my favorite books I have read in years.”
—Quiara Alegria Hudes, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter of In the Heights
“Angie Cruz’s luminous new novel introduces us to the irresistible Cara Romero. An older immigrant worker whose life was upended by the recession of 2008, she offers up a funny, smart, engaging handbook to survival (work, love, children, familia) in a crazily changing world. Personally, I think Cara should have her own talk show!”
—Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban
“Continuously surprising...Stupendous. The voice comes alive with such immediacy in this formally inventive novel. I loved every page of it.”
—Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew
“Poignant and lovely and wonderful. I read it in one sitting and will read it again. Angie Cruz is a genius.”
—Jennifer Croft, Man Book International-winning translator and author of Homesick
“So good. Wow. I've laughed so much already. Cara is hands down becoming one of my favorite characters. This is a page-turner for sure.”
—Saraciea Fennell, editor of Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed
“Write this down: Cara Romero is going to steal your heart. Such a beautiful, funny, tender, and empowering story. And what a nuanced portrayal of motherhood.”
—Cleyvis Natera, author of Neruda on the Park
“You will love, yes, love and identify with this brilliantly written story. We are all Cara Romero.”
—Kianny Antigua, award-winning translator of Dominicana