Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
When Trying to Return Home by Jennifer Maritza McCauley
Add When Trying to Return Home to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

When Trying to Return Home

Best Seller
When Trying to Return Home by Jennifer Maritza McCauley
Hardcover $27.00
Feb 07, 2023 | ISBN 9781640095687

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Feb 07, 2023 | ISBN 9781640095687

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Feb 07, 2023 | ISBN 9781640095694

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


Kirkus Reviews, A Best Books to Read This Month
The Week, A Most Anticipated Book of 2023

People en Español, A Most Anticipated Books of the Year
One of Electric Literature‘s Books by Women of Color to Read This Year

“McCauley writes with a lovely lyricism and musicality, an adroitness of construction that brings a lightness to her heavier subjects. Within a crowded field of collections that explore family, motherhood and identity, this debut makes the case for one more.” —Amil Niazi, The New York Times

“One of the Best New Books to Read in 2023.” —Today

“The worst thing I have to say about When Trying to Return Home is that I wish it was longer. Maritza McCauley teases her skills throughout the collection, highlighting her mastery of thrills and heartbreak, all the while incorporating authentic, genuine glimpses into the Black American and Afro-Puerto Rican experience.” —Lillian Pearce, Michigan Daily News

“These stories will beguile and intrigue. They are equally tender and sharp, gentle and defiant, delicate and resilient.” —Karla Strand, Ms., A Most Anticipated Title of the Year

“Jennifer Maritza McCauley’s short story collection, When Trying to Return Home, takes complex characters and situations and weaves them into a tapestry that provides the reader with an emotional journey. The collection demonstrates McCauley’s dexterity as a writer as she shifts voices, styles, and points of view . . . When Trying to Return Home stands as one of the best books of the year and is a must-read.” —Jose B. Gonzalez, Latino Stories

“A dazzling debut collection spanning a century of Black American and Afro-Latino life in Puerto Rico, Pittsburgh, Louisiana, Miami, and beyond—and an evocative meditation on belonging, the meaning of home, and how we secure freedom on our own terms.” —Kailey Brennan Dellorusso, Write or Die Magazine

“Admiringly gutsy and tender, with flashes of poetry . . . What can’t McCauley do? A writer to watch.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“McCauley’s explosive debut collection crackles with moments of honesty, upheaval, and longing among families . . . Each story is a treasure.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Powerful, propulsive, and at the same time, tender, the stories in When Trying to Return Home overflow with unforgettable characters and voices. A stunning debut! —Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“Singular in power, beauty, wisdom, and depth, these stories blend razor sharp social commentary with an uncanny insight into the human experience. Jennifer Maritza McCauley introduces herself as a writer to behold with wonder.” —Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, author of On the Rooftop

“McCauley is a powerful literary medium, able to speak in the voices of an astonishing range of characters, and to make us feel their presence in the room.” —Debra Dean, bestselling author of The Madonnas of Leningrad and The Mirrored World

“In When Trying To Return Home live a cast of some of the most memorable characters and predicaments I’ve encountered in fiction. These interlinked stories will introduce you to a mother who fights to keep her two children close to her; a nun who considers her options for the future and her boisterous, ever-protective sister; a boy who meets a discarded family member; an adoptive mother whose will angers her heirs––just to name some characters. Jennifer Maritza McCauley is an incredibly gifted writer and I can’t wait to see what she shares with us next.” —De’Shawn Charles Winslow, author of Decent People

“This collection is a gorgeous kaleidoscope, audacious and wise, capturing and releasing the ways that love assaults us. McCauley’s stories will split your heart, but they will also, lovingly, fuse it back together.” —Ivelisse Rodriguez, author of PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction finalist Love War Stories

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Jennifer Maritza McCauley
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top