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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Black Dove: Ana Castillo's Memoir on Motherhood

“PALOMA NEGRA, paloma negra!” Ana Castillo’s mother sang in Spanish in their Chicago home, “I don’t know whether to curse you or pray for you.” She sang the classic Mexican ranchera with her lovely voice again when Castillo left through the door at 19 in search of adulthood, a journey that would find her becoming an acclaimed Chicana author and a mother herself. Looking back at it all, Castillo reflects, in her newest collection of essays, Black Dove: Mamá, Mi’jo, and Me, on all three generations. She weaves childhood memories, like her mother’s singing, through her own struggles raising a son, including dealing with his time in prison, the hardest thing she’s ever had to write about.

Read more on my debut article for the Los Angeles Review of Books:

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