At the Narrow Waist of the World - A Memoir
Publisher: She Writes Press
“With sensitivity and candor, Baraf examines mental illness, immigration, forgiveness, and community—all framed within the precocity of her life’s circumstances.”
“At the Narrow Waist of the World is a compelling account of what it is like to live through turbulence and come out on the other side.”
—Foreword Clarion Review
“Deftly written, impressively candid, insightfully presented, At the Narrow Waist of the World is an extraordinary and memorable read.”
—Midwest Book Review
“By the end of At the Narrow Waist of the World, we have come to know, admire and even cherish its author in a way few memoirists manage to achieve . . . . ”
Raised by a lively family of Spanish Jews in tropical and Catholic Panama of the 1950s and 1960s, Marlena depends on her many tíos and tías for refuge from the difficulties of life, including the frequent absences of her troubled mother. As a teenager, she pulls away from this centered world—crossing borders—and begins a life in the United States very different from the one she has known.
This lyrical coming-of-age memoir explores the intense and profound relationship between mothers and daughters and highlights the importance of community and the beauty of a large Latin American family. It also explores the vital issues of mental illness and healing, forgiveness and acceptance. At the Narrow Waist of the World examines the author's gradual integration into a new culture, even as she understands that her home is still—and always will be—rooted in another place.