Comment published in Criticas magazine, April 2004
In 1983, Yelin and her family left a harsh military dictatorship in Argentina in search of better opportunities in the United States. Despite her constant fears of becoming the next desaparecida “(missing person”), Yelin was less than enthusiastic about leaving her country. She was not only leaving behind her entire past but also her bright future as a psychologist. In an intense melancholic voice, Yelin describes her experience adjusting to an entirely different country, from learning a language to dealing with a new “democratic” government to facing the disparaging feelings of dislocation, anonymity, and helplessness. With a journalist’s eye and a psychologist’s training, she documents differences in culture that are at times both frustrating and humorous. How do you order fast food? Or how do you raise multicultural children? And why doesn’t a Latin American education equal an American one? In the end, her story is one of triumph through much sacrifice and hard work-the ultimate immigrant tale. Yelin emphasizes, however, that even after years of adjusting to her surroundings, she still feels like an immigrant, a sentiment that will echo in the hearts of may Latino readers.
This is not a typical self-help, inspirational story, nor a how-to book on immigration, but rather an informed explanation of the psychological ordeal individuals and their families go through while adjusting to a new environment.
Recommended for all libraries and book stores.-
César Cazales, Minneapolis, MN