Knitting the Fog
By Claudia D. Hernández
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY (July 9, 2019)
Setting: Guatemala and United States
Weaving together narrative essay and bilingual poetry, Knitting the Fog is the complex self-portrait of a young Chapina girl who wakes up to find her mother gone. Claudia and her two older sisters are taken in by their great aunt and their grandmother. When her mother returns three years later, they begin a month-long journey to El Norte. Once settled in California, Claudia has trouble assimilating—she doesn't speak English, and her Spanish is "weird"—but when back in Guatemala, 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 the struggle and resilience inherent to immigration today.
About the author:
Claudia D. Hernández is a poet, editor, translator, and bilingual educator, born and raised in Guatemala. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and writes in Spanish and English, and sometimes weaves in Poqomchiʼ, an indigenous language of her Mayan heritage. Hernández is the founder of the ongoing photography project ”Today’s Revolutionary Women of Color.” She currently resides in Los Angeles.
“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, The World According to Fannie Davis
"Claudia D. Hernández knits together so much in this necessary, unforgettable book—poetry and prose, Guatemala and El Norte, Spanish and English, innocence and awakening—blurring borders with humor and heartache and the richest, most vivid detail. Hernandez’s harrowing yet joy-laced journey will knit its way deeply into your heart."
—Gayle Brandeis, The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide
“Hernández gives us a multi-faceted look at a young girl and her family from Guatemala.”
Journey and Struggle
Amazing memoir about the author’s strong family matriarchy in Guatemala and their journey to the USA and the struggles they encountered once in the promised land.
Important and Deeply Affecting
Hernandez beautifully defies genre convention in this memoir that uses narrative and poetry to recall her family’s immigration story. Her language is at times subtle, and other times cuts straight to emotion, pulling the reader through her own emotional journey and what she has to hold in to make it through. This book is important not only right now, but to our country’s history. This is one I anticipate being devoured by my students.
A memoir weaving bilingual poetry with an economy of words that are full of such linguistical riches that truly prove that sometimes less is more. I’m not sure how Claudia D. Hernandez was able to do it but she truly transported us back to her childhood and we got to see her life through that innocence. The importance of this story is that it gives voice to three generations of women that are simply trying to survive
A moving memoir told through essays and poems about the author’s childhood in Guatemala and migrating to the US at the age of 10. It’s a very slice-of-life book, full of the details that a child remembers about playing with neighbors, the oddities of the neighborhood, and being raised by strong women.