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The Taste of Sugar

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
"Enthralling. . . . A masterful work of historical fiction that traces monumental economic and political currents. . . . [A] Latino Grapes of Wrath." – Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Marisel Vera emerges as a major voice of contemporary fiction with a heart-wrenching novel set in Puerto Rico on the eve of the Spanish-American War.

It is 1898, and groups of starving Puerto Ricans, los hambrientos, roam the parched countryside and dusty towns begging for food. Under the yoke of Spanish oppression, the Caribbean island is forced to prepare to wage war with the United States. Up in the mountainous coffee region of Utuado, Vicente Vega and Valentina Sanchez labor to keep their small farm from the creditors. When the Spanish-American War and the great San Ciriaco Hurricane of 1899 bring devastating upheaval, the young couple is lured, along with thousands of other puertorriquenos, to the sugar plantations of Hawaii—another US territory—where they are confronted by the hollowness of America’s promises of prosperity. Writing in the tradition of great Latin American storytelling, Marisel Vera’s The Taste of Sugar is an unforgettable novel of love and endurance, and a timeless portrait of the reasons we leave home.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"A family saga set against the backdrop of Puerto Rico in the late 1800s, The Taste of Sugar plunges us into a world where people who are struggling with profound poverty, abuse and discrimination manage to preserve their hopes, dignity, grace and the familial love that holds them together. Marisel Vera’s novel is a real contribution to the literature about the immigrant experience of yesterday - and today." - María Amparo Escandón

"A majestic work with the grand sweep of history and the intimacy of a compelling dream. Marisel Vera has written a compassionate, unforgettable, richly detailed novel about colonialism in all its guises, offering us little-known stories from the past that are essential to understanding the present." - Cristina García

"Subtle yet arresting, The Taste of Sugar, is a gorgeous feat of storytelling. Marisel Vera melds meticulous research with deep compassion and pure talent to fashion a novel that excavates the pain of the history while drawing hope from the buried stories of our nation. This is historical fiction as its best, using the moral dilemmas of the past to decipher our present conflicts in order to light our way toward a more just future." - Tayari Jones

"Vera eloquently tells the story of an astonishing Puerto Rican family and their countrymen and women, as their people are constantly betrayed, discarded and ruined, first by the Spanish, next by the Americans, yet they never give up hope. Haunting, mesmerizing, and heart-scorching, you will turn pages while holding your breath. You don't just read this genius alive novel, you live it." - Caroline Leavitt


Used availability for Marisel Vera's The Taste of Sugar

Hardback Editions

June 2020 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Taste of Sugar: A Novel
Author(s): Marisel Vera
ISBN: 1-63149-773-1 / 978-1-63149-773-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Liveright
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

July 2021 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Taste of Sugar: A Novel
Author(s): Marisel Vera
ISBN: 1-63149-904-1 / 978-1-63149-904-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Liveright
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

June 2020 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Taste of Sugar: A Novel
Author(s): Marisel Vera
Publisher: Liveright
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA