From Venezuelan journalist Paula Ramón comes a powerful memoir about one woman’s complicated relationship with her family as her beloved homeland collapses into ruin.
In the span of a generation, oil-rich Venezuela spiraled into a dire state of economic collapse. Journalist Paula Ramón experienced the crisis firsthand as her middle-class family saw their quality of life deteriorate. In her deeply personal new book MOTHERLAND: A Memoir, Ramón poignantly and eloquently recounts what it was like growing up in Venezuela when Hugo Chávez won his first election through his death and beyond. Translated by the talented Julia Sanches and Jennifer Shyue, MOTHERLAND will be published in English for the first time by Amazon Crossing on October 31, 2023.
“This book is a very personal story, but also very relatable to people who are trying to come to terms with who they are, their relationships to their families and their loyalties to their countries,” Ramón said. “I’m thrilled about this new English version because it allows me to share this story – mine and my country’s – with more people.”
MOTHERLAND is not a political book, but rather a poignant and sentimental search for one’s roots and for the answers to the often-asked questions: What defines us? Who are you in a new country? What truly matters?
By the time Ramón started high school in the 1990s, Venezuela was already experiencing turbulent times. The crisis got progressively worse. In the decades that followed, public services no longer functioned. Money lost its value. Eventually, her mother couldn’t afford to buy food, which was increasingly scarce. The once-prosperous country fell into ruin. Like many others, Ramón’s family struggled to survive each day in their beloved city, Maracaibo—until, one by one, they each made the unbearable choice to leave the home they loved.
In the end, it was Ramón’s mother, a widow, who stayed behind, loyal to the only home she’d ever known. In this heartbreaking mix of lived experience, family chronicle, and journalistic essay, Paula Ramón explores the anguish of her own relationships set against the staggering collapse of a country.
MOTHERLAND is a uniquely human account about the ties that bind—and the fragile concept of home.
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