Skip to Main Content

Sabrina & Corina Discussion & Activities Kit: About the Book

This guide is a digital companion to the book Sabrina & Corina: Stories and contains activities and supplementary material for classes and groups to use while reading stories from the book.

"A haunting debut story collection on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands, centered on Latinas of indigenous ancestry that shines a new light on the American West. Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Indigenous Latina characters and the land they inhabit"

Kali Fajardo-Anstine's website.

Reader's Guides

Library employees read Sabrina & Corina on the steps of Norlin Library

Image description: A group of CU Boulder Libraries employees lounge on the front steps of Norlin Library reading Sabrina & Corina.

Photo credit: Deirdre Keating.

Reviews

"A haunting debut story collection on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands, centered on Latinas of indigenous descent that shines a new light on the American West." 

Library Journal

 

“Having been taught from an early age that beauty and femininity attract harm, the women in these fierce and essential stories are never truly surprised by the brutality of the men around them… Feminine agency, legacy and kinship . . . govern the hearts of every character in this book.” 

May Lan-Tan for The New York Times

 

"Set largely in Denver, where indigenous Latina characters wrestle with male brutality, tragic family histories and gentrification in the High Plains of Colorado... In this 2019 National Book Award finalist, Fajardo-Anstine tells these women’s stories with humanity and grace, often with humor, and an honesty that’s at once beautiful and devastating.”

Heather John Fogarty for Los Angeles Times

Further Reading: Chicanx and Latinx Feminist Literature

Mean

True crime, memoir, and ghost story, Mean is the bold and hilarious tale of Myriam Gurba's coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Blending radical formal fluidity and caustic humor, Gurba takes on sexual violence, small towns, and race, turning what might be tragic into piercing, revealing comedy. This is a confident, intoxicating, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously. We act mean to defend ourselves from boredom and from those who would cut off our breasts. We act mean to defend our clubs and institutions. We act mean because we like to laugh. Being mean to boys is fun and a second-wave feminist duty. Being mean to men who deserve it is a holy mission. Sisterhood is powerful, but being mean is more exhilarating. Being mean isn't for everybody. Being mean is best practiced by those who understand it as an art form. These virtuosos live closer to the divine than the rest of humanity. They're queers. Myriam Gurba is a queer spoken-word performer, visual artist, and writer from Santa Maria, California. She's the author of Dahlia Season (2007, Manic D) which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, Wish You Were Me (2011, Future Tense Books), and Painting Their Portraits in Winter (2015, Manic D). She has toured with Sister Spit and her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. She lives in Long Beach, where she teaches social studies to eighth-graders.

Who Will Speak for America?

The editors and contributors to Who Will Speak for America? are passionate and justifiably angry voices providing a literary response to today's political crisis.  Inspired by and drawing from the work of writers who participated in nationwide Writers Resist events in January 2017, this volume provides a collection of poems, stories, essays, and cartoons that wrestle with the meaning of America and American identity. The contributions--from established figures including Eileen Myles, Melissa Febos, Jericho Brown, and Madeleine Thien, as well as rising new voices, such as Carmen Maria Machado, Ganzeer, and Liana Finck--confront a country beset by racial injustice, poverty, misogyny, and violence. Contributions reflect on the terror of the first days after the 2016 Presidential election, but range well beyond it to interrogate the past and imagine possible American futures. Who Will Speak for America? inspires readers by emphasizing the power of patience, organizing, resilience and community. These moving works advance the conversation the American colonists began, and that generations of activists, in their efforts to perfect our union, have elevated and amplified.All royalties will benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In the Dream House

A revolutionary memoir about domestic abuse by the award-winning author of Her Body and Other Parties In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it's that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope--the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman--through which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Machado's dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.

The Verging Cities

From undocumented men named Angel, to angels falling from the sky, Natalie Scenters-Zapico's gripping debut collection, The Verging Cities, is filled with explorations of immigration and marriage, narco-violence and femicide, and angels in the domestic sphere. Deeply rooted along the US-México border in the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, and Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, these poems give a brave new voice to the ways in which international politics affect the individual. Composed in a variety of forms, from sonnet and epithalamium to endnotes and field notes, each poem distills violent stories of narcos, undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents, and the people who fall in love with each other and their traumas. The border in Scenters-Zapico's The Verging Cities exists in a visceral place where the real is (sur)real. In these poems mouths speak suspended from ceilings, numbered metal poles mark the border and lovers' spines, and cities scream to each other at night through fences that "ooze only silt." This bold new vision of border life between what has been named the safest city in the United States and the murder capital of the world is in deep conversation with other border poets--Benjamin Alire Saenz, Gloria Anzaldúa, Alberto Ríos, and Luis Alberto Urrea--while establishing itself as a new and haunting interpretation of the border as a verge, the beginning of one thing and the end of another in constant cycle.

Native Country of the Heart

"This memoir's beauty is in its fierce intimacy." --Roy Hoffman,The New York Times Book Review One ofLiterary Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2019 From the celebrated editor ofThis Bridge Called My Back, Cherríe Moraga charts her own coming-of-age alongside her mother's decline, and also tells the larger story of the Mexican American diaspora. Native Country of the Heart: AMemoir is, at its core, a mother-daughter story. The mother, Elvira, was hired out as a child, along with her siblings, by their own father to pick cotton in California's Imperial Valley. The daughter, Cherríe Moraga, is a brilliant, pioneering, queer Latina feminist. The story of these two women, and of their people, is woven together in an intimate memoir of critical reflection and deep personal revelation. As a young woman, Elvira left California to work as a cigarette girl in glamorous late-1920s Tijuana, where an ambiguous relationship with a wealthy white man taught her life lessons about power, sex, and opportunity. As Moraga charts her mother's journey--from impressionable young girl to battle-tested matriarch to, later on, an old woman suffering under the yoke of Alzheimer's--she traces her own self-discovery of her gender-queer body and Lesbian identity, as well as her passion foractivism and the history of her pueblo. As her mother's memory fails, Moraga is driven to unearth forgotten remnants of a U.S. Mexican diaspora, its indigenous origins, and an American story of cultural loss. Poetically wrought and filled with insight into intergenerational trauma,Native Country of the Heartis a reckoning with white American history and a piercing love letter from a fearless daughter to the mother she will never lose.

Dealing in Dreams

The Outsiders meets Mad Max: Fury Road in this fast-paced dystopian novel about sisterhood and the cruel choices people are forced to make in order to survive. At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets. Sixteen-year-old Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That role brings with it violent throwdowns and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but Nala quickly grows weary of her questionable lifestyle. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega Towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city's benevolent founder and cross the border in a search of the mysterious gang the Ashé Riders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles crews and her own doubts but the closer she gets to her goal the more she loses sight of everything--and everyone--she cares about. Nalah must choose whether or not she's willing to do the unspeakable to get what she wants. Can she discover that home is not where you live but whom you chose to protect before she loses the family she's created for good?

Lost Children Archive

A fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border--an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity. A mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and a girl, driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. Their destination: Apacheria, the place the Apaches once called home. Why Apaches? asks the ten-year-old son. Because they were the last of something, answers his father. In their car, they play games and sing along to music. But on the radio, there is news about an "immigration crisis": thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States, but getting detained--or lost in the desert along the way. As the family drives--through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas--we sense they are on the brink of a crisis of their own. A fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet. They are led, inexorably, to a grand, harrowing adventure--both in the desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations. Told through several compelling voices, blending texts, sounds, and images, Lost Children Archive is an astonishing feat of literary virtuosity. It is a richly engaging story of how we document our experiences, and how we remember the things that matter to us the most. With urgency and empathy, it takes us deep into the lives of one remarkable family as it probes the nature of justice and equality today.

The Distance Between Us

"In this poignant memoir about her childhood in Mexico, Reyna Grande skillfully depicts another side of the immigrant experience--the hardships and heartbreaks of the children who are left behind." --Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of Enrique's Journey Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years in this "compelling . . . unvarnished, resonant" (BookPage) story of a childhood spent torn between two parents and two countries. As her parents make the dangerous trek across the Mexican border to "El Otro Lado" (The Other Side) in pursuit of the American dream, Reyna and her siblings are forced into the already overburdened household of their stern grandmother. When their mother at last returns, Reyna prepares for her own journey to "El Otro Lado" to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father. Funny, heartbreaking, and lyrical, The Distance Between Us poignantly captures the confusion and contradictions of childhood, reminding us that the joys and sorrows we experience are imprinted on the heart forever, calling out to us of those places we first called home. Also available in Spanish as La distancia entre nosotros.

(Re)Mapping the Latina/O Literary Landscape

This book broadens the scope of Latina/o criticism to include both widely-read and understudied nineteenth through twenty-first century fictional works that engage in critical discussions of gender, race, sexuality, and identity. The essays in this collection do not simply seek inclusion for the texts they critically discuss, but suggest that we more thoughtfully consider the utility of mapping, whether we are mapping land, borders, time, migration, or connections and disconnections across time and space. Using new and rigorous methodological approaches to reading Latina/o literature, contributors reveal a varied and textured landscape, challenging us to reconsider the process and influence of literary production across borders.

A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying

Filled with the nuanced beauty and complexity of the everyday?a pot of beans, a goat carcass, embroidered linens, a grandfather?s cancer?A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying journeys through the inherited fear of creation and destruction. The histories of South Texas and its people unfold in Laurie Ann Guerrero?s stirring language, including the dehumanization of men and its consequences on women and children. Guerrero?s tongue becomes a palpable border, occupying those liminal spaces that both unite and divide, inviting readers to consider that which is known and unknown: the body. Guerrero explores not just the right, but the ability to speak and fight for oneself, one's children, one's community?in poems that testify how, too often, we fail to see the power reflected in the mirror.

Almanac of the Dead

In its extraordinary range of character and culture, Almanac of the Dead is fiction on the grand scale. The acclaimed author of Ceremony has undertaken a weaving of ideas and lives, fate and history, passion and conquest in an attempt to re-create the moral history of the Americas, told from the point of view of the conquered, not the conquerors.

Fall 2021: Libraries hours, service updates

All five campus libraries are now open. Read about open hours and other important service updates.