Jaquira Díaz is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, and fellowships from the Kenyon Review, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the MacDowell Colony, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is a visiting assistant professor in the MFA program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work appears in Rolling Stone, the Guardian, the Fader, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Best American Essays, and other publications. Author Julia Alvarez writes of her debut memoir, “There is more life packed on each page of Ordinary Girls (Algonquin Books) than some lives hold in a lifetime.” Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was surrounded by the love of her friends; as she longed for a family and home, she found instead a life upended by violence. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz triumphantly maps a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be.