Family Lore: A Novel (Hardcover)
A Most Anticipated Book of 2023 from: Today.com * Time * Electric Literature * Seattle Times * Telemundo * Washington Post * HipLatina
From bestselling, National Book Award–winning author Elizabeth Acevedo comes her first novel for adults, the story of one Dominican-American family told through the voices of its women as they await a gathering that will forever change their lives.
Flor has a gift: she can predict, to the day, when someone will die. So when she decides she wants a living wake—a party to bring her family and community together to celebrate the long life she’s led—her sisters are surprised. Has Flor foreseen her own death, or someone else’s? Does she have other motives? She refuses to tell her sisters, Matilde, Pastora, and Camila.
But Flor isn’t the only person with secrets: her sisters are hiding things, too. And the next generation, cousins Ona and Yadi, face tumult of their own.
Spanning the three days prior to the wake, Family Lore traces the lives of each of the Marte women, weaving together past and present, Santo Domingo and New York City. Told with Elizabeth Acevedo’s inimitable and incandescent voice, this is an indelible portrait of sisters and cousins, aunts and nieces—one family’s journey through their history, helping them better navigate all that is to come.
Elizabeth Acevedo is the author of The Poet X—which won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and the Walter Award—as well as With the Fire on High and Clap When You Land. She is a National Poetry Slam champion and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo lives with her partner in Washington, DC. You can find out more about her at www.acevedowrites.com.
“Family Lore is a deeply Dominican book, full of raw emotional power. It is at once intimate and epic, one of the most resonant representations of a family and world like my own that I've ever read. There is so much to love about this wise, funny and original novel—and it’s a singular contribution to Dominican Diasporic letters.” — Naima Coster, New York Times bestselling author of What’s Mine and Yours
“Elizabeth Acevedo's Family Lore is a sweeping multi-generational story of a family of women whose special powers have helped them overcome personal, familial, and historical challenges that both bond them together and at times threaten to pull them apart but ultimately navigate them into the full abrazos of love. Acevedo is in full command of her special powers as a storyteller of compassionate, capacious and lyrical imagination. Make room on your shelves, readers, for this strong new voice with an old soul and a deep well of understanding of who we wonderfully are for the brief time we are beings.” — Julia Alvarez, author of Afterlife and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents
"Flor is throwing herself a wake and reminding us that ‘even a long life is too short.’ So while we are here ‘let's eat, and dance, and be alive.’ Acevedo has written unforgettable characters who breathe new life to how we grieve, age, take care of each other. Family Lore is a big-hearted novel, a wonderful debut!" — Angie Cruz, author of How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water and Dominicana
“Only Elizabeth Acevedo could make an epic feel so intimate, so perfectly crafted and tightly drawn. FAMILY LORE is a devastating exploration of the liveliness of the Marte women. No writer on earth transforms a page into a home with distinct emotional chambers like Acevedo, and her she does it with language that is equally lush and lacerating. This is how stories should be made.” — Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division and Heavy
“There's deep magic not only among the close-knit Marte sisters and their offspring, but on every page of Family Lore. At turns tender, intense, sensual, and hilarious, I couldn't get enough of this book. Elizabeth Acevedo's precise, intricate prose mesmerizes, surprises, and delights. This is a family saga to be read with your whole heart and soul.” — Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies