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Las Madres: A Novel

Publisher: Knopf

Esmeralda Santiago is a Puerto Rican author known for writing three groundbreaking memoirs and trans-cultural writing. Her work includes memoirs: When I was Puerto Rican, Almost a Woman, and The Turkish Lover. Her novels include America’s Dream, the national bestseller Conquistadora, and Las Madres. Santiago creates her stories based on being a Latina Native living in the United States.

In 1975 in the areas of Puerto Rico, fifteen-year-old Luz was seriously injured in a car accident in which her parents tragically were killed. Luz then suffers and deals with the aftershock of a brain injury in which her days are filled with pain and aches, and her memory of the accident is wiped clean. She is then guided by two new friends in her life, Ada and Shirley. Now, in 2017, her estranged adult daughter, Marisol comes into Luz’s life. But despite all their careful planning, two hurricanes, back-to-back, disrupt their homecoming, and a secret is revealed that blows their lives wide open. Santiago presents a story of women’s sexuality, shame, disability, and love within a community rocked by disaster.

This book was originally published in August, 2023.

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Originally aired on September 17, 2023

Louie Saenz has been in the news broadcasting business for over thirty years. He has been a News Anchor and Reporter for KDBC-TV, KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, NM and KTSM-TV in El Paso. Saenz earned a degree in Journalism from NMSU, and a Masters in Communication from UTEP. He is currently the News & Public Affairs Director for KTEP-FM, and a lecturer in the Communication Department. He is also the host of Focus on Campus and co-host on El Paso Prime Time.
John Martinez is an intern assistant producer on ACT Radio, Science Studio, and The Book Club with Louie Saenz. He enjoys pop culture, sporting events, and listening to various types of music.
Sam Cassiano is a native Californian who spent his formative years in the Bay Area. An army brat, his family toured Germany and Japan before settling in El Paso in 1973. Initially a Communications Major at UTEP, a radio internship at KPAS-FM 94, the PASS launched his broadcasting career. He can be heard as the morning news anchor on KTEP during NPR's Morning Edition, and Friday evenings at 10 pm as the host of Friday Night Blues.