Knitting the Fog
Knitting the Fog
Claudia D. Hernández
A young Guatemalan immigrant’s adolescence is shaped by her journey to the US.
Publication Date: 07-09-2019
Weaving together narrative essay and bilingual poetry, Claudia D. Hernández’s lyrical debut follows her tumultuous adolescence and fraught homecomings as she crisscrosses the American continent.
Seven-year-old Claudia wakes up one day to find her mother gone, having left for the United States to flee domestic abuse and pursue economic prosperity. Claudia and her two older sisters are taken in by their great aunt and their grandmother, their father no longer in the picture. Three years later, her mother returns for her daughters, and the family begins the month-long journey to El Norte. But in Los Angeles, Claudia has trouble assimilating: she doesn’t speak English, and her Spanish sticks out as “weird” in their primarily Mexican neighborhood. When her family returns to Guatemala years later, she is startled to find she no longer belongs there either.
A harrowing story told with the candid innocence of childhood, Hernández’s memoir depicts a complex self-portrait of the struggle and resilience inherent to immigration today.
"In light of the current misunderstandings surrounding immigrants fleeing violence in Central America, this book should be required reading. The writing is fluid and lyrical and the story is relevant." —Mom Egg Review
“In Knitting the Fog, Hernández eloquently captures the hardship, joy, magic, and resilience of three generations of women enduring ‘the battles of this dream’—border after border—from the family home in Mayuelas, Guatemala, through the desert across the Río Bravo, to the streets of Los Angeles. Magnificent!” —Carol Potter, author of Some Slow Bees
“Knitting the Fog brings us the immigrant experience in a refreshingly new light. This memoir of hybrid forms—moving evocatively between poetry and prose—is not only timely but resonant in sense of place and purpose. How exciting that Hernández's voice joins the canon of contemporary Latina stories.” —Bridgett M. Davis, author of The World According to Fannie Davis
"This debut gives tender and keen insight into the experience of migrating north to the US and the challenges a preteen faces integrating into the 'Promised Land.'" —Ana Castillo, author of Black Dove: Mamá, Mi'jo, and Me
"Part-torch song and part-excavation: a hybrid book of short nonfiction interlaced with poems that mirror the turbulent fog one must survive when they are a child who must keep going, despite it all. It is also a book of our times, a story of struggle and resilience, a warrior song that refuses to look or run away." —Melissa R. Sipin, editor in chief, TAYO Literary Magazine
“Claudia D. Hernández’s exquisite new memoir is a breathtaking read. Her raw honesty sings on the page with a kind of fiery joy and longing of what it means to be a family.” —Kerry Madden, author of the Appalachian Maggie Valley Trilogy
"Knitting the Fog evokes the universal journey of identity that we all go through as people, immigrants, and artists. An inspirational gift." —Adrian Ernesto Cepeda, author of Flashes & Verses . . . Becoming Attractions
“In Knitting the Fog, each of Claudia D. Hernández’s memories is framed by the writer’s bilingual, bicultural childhood experiences at home . . . then reshaped by the poet’s struggle to survive in an alien environment in the US. This debut is so much more than an immigrant’s story. It is an ode to the resilience of the human spirit. A hymn to the power of poems and stories as agents of personal liberation and social change. In any language. Any culture. Anywhere in the world. ¡Brava, Claudia! ¡Otra, otra! Encore!” —Lucha Corpi, author of Confessions of a Book Burner: Personal Essays and Stories
“La Diablita, the tomboy, wrote these searingly honest, la verdad, stories of crossing to the other side from her beloved Guatemala to her now home, the USA. Poesía is also sprinkled throughout, her prayers. Listen, you’ll believe every word as La Diablita knits the fog beyond man-made borders. The fog is love.” —Alma Luz Villanueva, author of Song of the Golden Scorpion
“A timeless story, Knitting the Fog humanizes those who have migrated north since time immemorial, regardless of place. Hernández weaves the joys, travails, and intricacies of a journey that, like the fog, did not dissipate into the past, weaving instead revolutionary visions of growth, survival, and change. A must-read for all.” —Josie Méndez-Negrete, author of A Life on Hold: Living with Schizophrenia
"Claudia D. Hernández knits together so much in this necessary, unforgettable book—poetry and prose, Guatemala and El Norte, Spanish and English, innocence and awakening—blurring borders with humor and heartache and the richest, most vivid detail. Hernandez’s harrowing yet joy-laced journey will knit its way deeply into your heart." —Gayle Brandeis, author of The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide
“Both timely and aesthetically exciting in its hybridity.” —The Millions
“Hernández gives us a multi-faceted look at a young girl and her family from Guatemala.” —Remezcla
“A writer with a poet’s sense of comprehension.” —La Bloga
Interested in reading this book with a group? Download group discussion questions for Knitting the Fog here!