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Garcia's debut novel, Of Women and Salt, touches on the lives of women in Miami from two families and explores how their lives intertwine and move about one another. This book dives into topics of generational trauma and abuse cycles repeating and reshaping themselves in a heartbreakingly beautiful way. A diaspora story, the novel explores topics of immigration and the gut-wrenching truths that families in our country face daily. The prose is fluid and poetic at times, elevating the mood from a somewhat tough story line. This book is filled with portraits of women who are tenacious, whose choices have vast consequences and whose stories make them stronger when they choose to tell them. The timeline is difficult to maintain at times but overall the individual stories stand firm.
I loved it because it felt real and raw and still remained beautiful and hopeful.
— Sallie Keene, Snail Readers Circle
April 2021 Indie Next List
“Gabriela Garcia has delivered a gripping novel that moves between modern-day Miami and revolutionary and post-revolution Cuba to tell the stories of four generations of women whose past traumas continue to play out in current times. It’s a story of strength, immigration, and the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters. Of Women and Salt took my breath away on multiple occasions and continues to take hold of my thoughts.”
— Pat Rudebusch, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA
Winter 2022 Reading Group Indie Next List
“Interwoven stories of women and their pain, love, sacrifice, betrayal, roots, and identity will challenge you and stay with you long after you finish. Perfect for book clubs: you’ll want to discuss it as soon as you put it down.”
— Emily Autenrieth, A Seat at the Table Books, Elk Grove, CA
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK
This program includes a bonus conversation between the author and Roxane Gay.
A sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter's fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them were born
In present-day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn more about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt.
From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Gabriela Garcia's Of Women and Salt is a kaleidoscopic portrait of betrayals—personal and political, self-inflicted and those done by others—that have shaped the lives of these extraordinary women. A haunting meditation on the choices of mothers, the legacy of the memories they carry, and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them, this is more than a diaspora story; it is a story of America’s most tangled, honest, human roots.
A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books
"Of Women and Salt is a fierce and powerful debut. Garcia wields narrative power, cultivating true and profound work on migration, legacy, and survival."--Terese Marie Mailhot, bestselling author of Heart Berries
“Gabriela Garcia captures the lives of Cuban women in a world to which they refuse to surrender and she does so with precision and generosity and beauty.”--Roxane Gay, bestselling author of Hunger and Bad Feminist
"[A] beautifully evocative first novel...This book is shaped, and given buoyancy, by Garcia’s sharp prose and by Jeanette’s ability to continue believing that the unexpected is possible, even as it repeatedly fails to materialize." —New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Gabriela Garcia is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Best American Poetry, Tin House, Zyzzyva, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She received an MFA in fiction from Purdue and lives in the Bay Area. Of Women and Salt is her first novel.
“Gabriela Garcia captures the lives of Cuban women in a world to which they refuse to surrender and she does so with precision and generosity and beauty.” - Roxane Gay, bestselling author of Hunger and Bad Feminist