"Lush, mystical … a memoir that blends family historia and the puzzling deadly politics of Peru."—USA Today
"American Chica is a fascinating blend of autobiography and soap opera, memoir and meditation. … full of larger-than-life characters and stranger-than-fiction situations. … delightful."—Washington Post
"Arana’s intimate and intelligent memoir captures exactly the pulse of a changing America. …[C]learly demonstrates her ability to write crystalline prose and make erudite cultural observations."—Library Journal
"Part history, part family memoir … American Chica reads like a collaboration between John Cheever and Isabel Allende…. One of the many reasons the reader can’t put this memoir down is the author’s impressive command of her craft…. Arana has left her own imprint on her material, while at the same time displaying virtuosity in the storyteller’s traditional gifts: spareness, clarity, and a passion for allegory."—The New York Times Book Review
A South American man, a North American woman—hoping against hope, throwing a frail span over the divide, trying to bolt beams into sand. There was one large lesson my parents had yet to learn as they strode into the garden with friends, hungry for rum and fried blood: There is a fundamental rift between North and South America, a flaw so deep it is tectonic. The plates don’t fit. The earth is loose. A fault runs through. Earthquakes happen. Walls are likely to fall.
—from American Chica