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Natalia Sylvester Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Chasing the Sun (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Everyone Knows You Go Home (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Running (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Breathe and Count Back from Ten (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

A Map Is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration, Family, and the Meaning of Home(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Measure of Belonging: Writers of Color on the New American South(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Natalia Sylvester
Natalia Sylvester was born in Lima, Peru and came to America at the age of four and grew up in South Florida and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where she later got her ABA in creative writing from the University of Miami.

She was once a magazine editor, and works as a freelance writer in Austin, Texas, and is one of the faculty members of the low-res MFA program at Regis University.

Natalia’s articles have appeared in Austin American-Statesman, Writers Digest, Bustle, Electric Literature, Latina Magazine, Catapult, McSweeny’s Publishing, and

Some of her favorite things include: Chai lattes, preferably from bookstore cafes. Rescue dogs, hers especially. Compassion and community, always. Alliteration and em dashes, in moderation, says the inner editor.

For “Everyone Knows You Go Home”, she says there was the spark of an idea and then what sustained it. The spark of the idea was that she and her husband got married on the Day of the Dead, which people would say to her that it was very funny or very interesting. So she took it to its next literal place. What became interesting to her was the idea of what if a spirit was the thing that came to life that day, but nobody would speak to him? Then, who would? Then she believed it would be the daughter-in-law.

Natalia also started thinking of the very special bond these two would develop over the years but the strain this would also put on a new marriage. Since she is developing a bond with this father-in-law that nobody else wants to speak with, and he visits each anniversary, during a time that’s supposed to be all about her and her husband.

What sustained the project were the many stories of immigrants’ experiences that had been relayed to Natalia. She thought about these stories her entire life and carried them around her entire life. She was waiting for the right tale to come along and bring them all together.

“Chasing the Sun” was named the Best Debut Novel of 2014 by Latinidad. “Everyone Know You Go Home” won the 2018 Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, an International Latino Book Award, and Real Simple magazine named it a Best Book of 2018.

Natalia’s debut novel, called “Chasing the Sun”, was released in the year 2014, which was partially inspired by family events. Her work is from the young adult fiction and literary fiction genres.

“Chasing the Sun” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2014. Andres suspects that his wife’s left him. Again. Then he finds out that the unthinkable’s happened. She has been kidnapped. The novel is set in Lima, Peru during political and civil unrest. Too many secrets and too much time has come between Marabela and Andres, however, now that she is gone, he would do anything he had to in order to get her back.

Or will he?

While Marabela slips even farther away from him, Andres must decide if they still have something worth fighting for, and just what he’s willing to give up to bring her back home. Unfortunately, the choice is not entirely his to make, or to the private mediator who moves into the family home to negotiate with those terrorists that kidnapped Marabela. Andres battles to maintain the illusion of control as he simultaneously scrambles to get Marabela’s ransom. He also tends to his two young kid’s needs, and reconnects with an old friend that might hold the key to his past and the future of his wife.

“Everyone Knows You Go Home” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2018. This is a novel about immigration and the depths that one Mexican American family is going to go for redemption and forgiveness.

When Isabel met her father-in-law, Omar, for the first time he was already dead, an apparition that appeared to her uninvited on her wedding day. Martin, her husband, still unforgiving for being abandoned by his dad years back, confesses that he didn’t know the old man actually died. Omar asks Isabel for the impossible: persuade Omar’s clan, particularly his wife, Elda, to allow him to redeem himself.

Martin and Isabel settle into their life as a married couple in a Texas border town, and Omar comes back every year on the celebratory Day of the Dead. Each year Isabel listens, however, to the aggrieved Elda and Martin, Omar’s spirit stays invisible. With each visit, Isabel gains more insight into not only the truth on his disappearance and her husband’s childhood but even the ways grief is able to eat at love.

When Martin’s teen nephew crosses the Mexican border and takes refuge in Martin and Isabel’s home, questions about future and past homes, borders, and belonging come up that may finally lead to some forgiveness. And it changes their lives forever.

“Running” is the third stand alone novel and was released in the year 2020. When the father of Mariana Ruiz, a fifteen year old Cuban American, runs for president, Mari begins seeing him with new eyes. This is a story about standing up and waking up, and what happens when you quit seeing your father as your hero, as the entire country watches.

Senator Anthony Ruiz runs for president. Throughout his entire successful political career, he’s always had his daughter’s vote, however, a presidential campaign brings on a whole new level of scrutiny to Mariana as well as the rest of her Cuban American family. From tabloids doctoring pictures and inventing scandals to a 60 Minutes-style tour of their house. While tensions rise within the Ruiz family, Mari starts to learn about the details of her dad’s political positions, and realizes that her dad is not at all the guy she believed him to be.

How do you find your voice as everybody is watching? When it means you disagree with you dad, publicly? What can you possibly do when your dad’s no longer your hero? Is Mari going to get a chance to confront her dad? If she does, is she going to have the courage to seize it?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Natalia Sylvester

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