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Family saga exposes harsh realities of immigration

Brooklyn BookBeat: Brooklyn book launch April 11

March 29, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Author Natalia Sylvester. Images courtesy of Jack Jones Literary Arts
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In her most recent novel “Everyone Knows You Go Home,” Natalia Sylvester weaves together the past and the present, the living and the dead, to expose the harsh realities of immigration and the risks one Mexican family will take to protect their legacy. Sylvester will appear at Powerhouse Arena on April 11 for the book launch of “Everyone Knows You Go Home,” which has been called “both intimate and epic in scope.”

The first time Isabel meets her father-in-law Omar, he’s already dead as an apparition appearing on her wedding day, asking her for the impossible: persuade Omar’s family — especially his wife Elda — to let him redeem himself.

Isabel and Martin settle into married life in a Texas border town, and Omar returns each year on the celebratory Day of the Dead. Every year Isabel listens, but to the aggrieved Martin and Elda, Omar’s spirit remains invisible. Through his visits, Isabel gains insight into not just the truth about his disappearance but also the ways grief can eat away at love.

When Martin’s teenage nephew crosses the Mexican border and takes refuge in Isabel and Martin’s home, questions about past and future homes, borders and belonging arise that may finally lead to forgiveness and alter their lives forever.

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Born in Lima, Peru, Sylvester came to the U.S. at age 4. As a child, she spent time in Florida and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas before her family set down roots in Miami, where she received a BA in creative writing from the University of Miami. A former magazine editor, Sylvester now works as a freelance writer in Texas and is a faculty member of the low-residency MFA program at Regis University.

Her articles have appeared in Latina, Writer’s Digest, The Austin American-Statesman and on Sylvester’s debut novel “Chasing the Sun” was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad, and was chosen as a Book of the Month by the National Latino Book Club.


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