The author of the book for Lin Manuel Miranda's musical In the Heights and screenwriter for its forthcoming film, Quiara writes about growing up Boricua and what it means to live as a woman in the Puerto Rican diaspora.
... a raw and eloquent memoir ... at once nuanced, loving, empowering, and melancholic ... Readers feel the tension of Hudes’ adolescent and college years as she’s trying to figure out how to be; she doesn’t allow for easy binaries, nor does she attack who or what makes her question herself as she explores what it’s like to be a Latina girl, and later a Latina woman, in contemporary U.S. society ... Hudes intentionally resists tying together her experiences into neat narrative bows. My Broken Language prompts rethinking of the representation narrative, who it is designed for and who it liberates—if anyone—which will undoubtedly create roadblocks for some readers ... But there’s an undeniable catharsis in seeing such an excellent writer communicate what many Latinos struggle to express about language. It encourages a reevaluation of the relationship with language—no matter how fraught the inheritance. There is a brutal honesty that Hudes brings to Latina girls and women’s experiences, which is vital to understand as women strive to have their voices heard and believed.
... a play of a memoir, a dramedy complete with memorable scenes that powerfully replicate the themes of family separation and cultural alienation ... The characters stay with you. They are funny. They are fierce. They love so hard, and often, they’re in real trouble ... That’s the thing with this book. The great scenes, yes. The beautifully three-dimensional characters, sure. The strong voice of Alegría Hudes with her talent for telling us what things mean in a way that doesn’t keep us with coming up with meanings for ourselves ... And yet. The star of My Broken Language are the words, so self-aware, so understanding of what they are composed of: music, meaning, memory, so able to see the true significance of the realities they are creating and also reflecting ... Hudes gives the word broken a new meaning.
... electrifying ... a rousing manifesto of Boricua pride ... Though injustice is never far from the narrative...Hudes doesn't get lost in a catalog of oppression. To do so would lose sight of her family's indomitable will to survive and thrive ... My Broken Language's evocative specificity carves out paradigms...for further exploration by generations of writers from the Latin American diaspora to come. Every sentence is filled with joy and resistance, every anecdote with the women's resilience that pulls the family forward ... Hudes writes with melody and rhythm ... She synthesizes the words to tell it how it actually is.