The Fifth Sun

Trade Paper – $18.95

ISBN 978-1-931896-05-4
Publication Date
April 2004
Categories
Page Count
360 pages
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5
ISBN
1-931896-05-4

The Fifth Sun

Winner of the 3rd Annual Miguel Mármol Prize from Curbstone Press, Mary Helen Lagasse's The Fifth Sun is an inspiring story of an immigrant who struggles valiantly for a better life for herself and her family. The young Mexican woman, Mercedes, leaves her village to work as a housemaid in New Orleans. This fast-paced novel takes her through her adventures in New Orleans, her marriage, her struggle to raise her children, her -deportation, and her attempt to re-cross the river and be reunited with her children.

About the Author

A native of New Orleans, Mary Helen Lagasse was born in the U.S. of Latino heritage and has taught English and Spanish at private schools. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the New Orleans Times Picayune, Gambit, and New Orleans Magazine.

Reviews

"We share in the struggle of Mercedes Vasconcelos—of Jesse and Manuela, as well—who leave their birthplace in search of another life. This is a must read—a journey of self-knowledge and heroism told in lyrical prose."

—Shirley Ann Grau, author of Keepers of the House (1993 Pulitzer Prize winner)

"Mary Helen Lagasse has woven a tapestry of many colors in her novel about Mercedes, the Mexican girl whose life is like a blood-red thread that weaves its way through the intricate design representing an early twentieth century Mexican-American experience . . . From her determination to not merely exist, allowing herself to be carried by the currents of El Destino, but to live fully, and to create a home for her family out of the meager resources in her environment, Mercedes is a trooper, a proto-feminist. Her journey is the hero's journey—the path to enlightenment, with each hurdle she encounters increasing her self-knowledge and strength of character."

—Judtih Orttiz Cofer, judge for the 2004 Mármol Prize