Over the course of nine searingly candid essays fueled by Erika L. Sánchez's fearless, supple humor, Crying in the Bathroom confronts the often brutal realities of living authentically as a nontraditional woman of Mexican heritage in the United States. Describing her memoir as "a series of my musings, misfortunes, triumphs, disappointments, delights, and resurrections," Sánchez takes a backward glance at her improbable, well-traveled life.
Author of the National Book Award finalist I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Sánchez straddles multiple contradictory identities that form her genuine self. Her parents--whom she calls "old-school Mexicans"--were immigrant factory workers; she is a poet, a Fulbright scholar and a Buddhist who rejected her family's oppressive Catholicism, choosing to live without guilt and shame as constant companions. Writing became her escape from a life of immigrant striving as well as the restrictions of growing up female in a traditional Mexican community in Chicago, where girls were expected to stay close to home. Instead, Sánchez (Lessons on Expulsion) moved out during her senior year of college and never looked back, traveling the world and immersing herself in a kaleidoscope of cultural, sexual and romantic experiences.
With animated, often hilarious, vignettes from a multicultural youth spent yearning for the solitude necessary for writing, Crying in the Bathroom finds the author immensely grateful for the good fortune of the present, for a splendid study of her own and the sacrifices her hardworking parents made so their daughter could pursue her literary dreams and lead a life of the mind. --Shahina Piyarali, reviewer