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.
“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
“Knitting the Fog is a work of textual beauty. The language is visceral in its descriptions.” —Wasafiri
“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
“A meaningful addition to the Central American canon.” —Latinx in Publishing
“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