Winner of the 2019 New American Voices Award
A Recommended Book of 2019 from:
Southern Living * Buzzfeed * The Huffington Post * Bustle * Fierce * Hip Latina * Ms. Magazine * Alma * Library Journal * The Rumpus * The Millions * Refinery29 * Electric Literature
A stunning debut novel about a young undocumented Peruvian woman fighting to keep her family afloat in New York City
Ana Falcón, along with her husband Lucho and their two young children, has fled the economic and political strife of Peru for a chance at a new life in New York City in the 1990s. Being undocumented, however, has significantly curtailed the family’s opportunities: Ana is indebted to a loan shark who calls herself Mama, and is stretched thin by unceasing shifts at her factory job. To make matters worse, Ana must also battle both criticism from Lucho’s cousin—who has made it obvious the family is not welcome to stay in her spare room for much longer—and escalating and unwanted attention from Mama’s husband.
As the pressure builds, Ana becomes increasingly desperate. While Lucho dreams of returning to Peru, Ana is deeply haunted by the demons she left behind and determined to persevere in this new country. But how many sacrifices is she willing to make before admitting defeat and returning to Peru? And what lines is she willing to cross in order to protect her family?
The Affairs of the Falcóns is a beautiful, deeply urgent novel about the lengths one woman is willing to go to build a new life, and a vivid rendering of the American immigrant experience.]]>
About the Author
Melissa Rivero was born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Brooklyn. Undocumented for most of her childhood, Rivero became a US citizen in her early twenties. Her writing has taken her to the VONA/Voices Workshops, Bread Loaf, and the Norman Mailer Writers Colony. In 2015, Melissa was an Emerging Writers Fellow at the Center for Fiction. She is a graduate of NYU and Brooklyn Law School, and currently works on the legal team of a startup. She still lives in Brooklyn, with her husband, two sons, and their rescue dog.
— Washington Post
— Refinery 29
— Library Journal (starred review)
— Kirkus Reviews
— Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers
— Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels and The Devil’s Highway
— Cristina García, author of Dreaming in Cuban and Here in Berlin
The Affairs of the Falcóns is a powerfully honest testament to the strength of immigrant mothers. May we all see them, honor them, and fight for them in the way Melissa Rivero sees, honors, and fights for Ana Rios, free of judgement and full of love.”
— Natalia Sylvester, author of Chasing the Sun and Everyone Knows You Go Home
— Rumaan Alam, author of That Kind of Mother