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My Name Is Iris by Brando Skyhorse
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My Name Is Iris

A Novel

$20.99

Get for $14.99 with membership
Length 8 hours 53 minutes
Language English
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“Brilliant.” —The Washington Post * “Nuanced and compelling.” —The New York Times

From the PEN/Hemingway Award–winning author of The Madonnas of Echo Park, an engrossing dystopian novel set in a near-future America where mandatory identification wristbands turn second-generation immigrants into second-class citizens—“a well-imagined allegory of divisive racial politics” (Kirkus Reviews).

Iris Prince is starting over. After years of drifting apart, she and her husband are going through a surprisingly drama-free divorce. She’s moved to a new house in a new neighborhood, and has plans for gardening, coffee clubs, and spending more time with her nine-year-old daughter Melanie. It feels like her life is finally exactly what she wants it to be.

Then, one beautiful morning, she looks outside her kitchen window—and sees that a wall has appeared in her front yard overnight. Where did it come from? What does it mean? And why does it seem to keep growing?

Meanwhile, a Silicon Valley startup has launched a high-tech wrist wearable called “the Band.” Pitched as a convenient, eco-friendly tool to help track local utilities and replace driver’s licenses and IDs, the Band is available only to those who can prove parental citizenship.

Suddenly, Iris, a proud second-generation Mexican American, is now of “unverifiable origin,” unable to prove who she is, or where she, and her undocumented loved ones, belong. Amid a climate of fear and hate-fueled violence, Iris must confront how far she'll go to protect what matters to her most.

“Part social commentary and part thoughtful consideration of themes that include family, identity, transitions, perspectives, and hope” (Shelf Awareness), My Name Is Iris is an all-too-possible story that offers a brilliant and timely look at one woman’s journey to discover who she can’t—and can—be.

Brando Skyhorse’s debut novel, The Madonnas of Echo Park, won the 2011 PEN/Hemingway Award and the Sue Kaufman Award for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His memoir, Take This Man, was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2014 and one of NBC News’s 10 Best Latino Books of 2014. A recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center fellowship, Skyhorse teaches English and creative writing at Indiana University Bloomington.

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Reviews

"Skyhorse’s timely dystopian tale comes to life, thanks to Alejandra Reynoso, the voice of Iris, an American citizen born of undocumented immigrants. Iris’s struggle to “be American” has taken a toll on her. When she was a child, her mother insisted that she speak only English and eschew bilingual education. Then there was the teacher who changed her name to Iris because Inez was too hard to say. Now Iris’s voice is accent-free, but she often sounds angry. Reynoso transitions smoothly into Spanish when Iris’s parents and sister speak, giving the listener a taste of the challenge of being surrounded by an unfamiliar tongue. Iris’s daughter Melanie’s voice displays the range of emotions a nine-year-old feels as she copes with changes in her life." Expand reviews