On November 11, 2013, celebrated film director, screenwriter and actress, Paola Mendoza’s, English version of her debut novel, “The Ones Who Don’t Stay” will be released on Rola Press. The Spanish language version was released earlier this year on Penguin.
The novel is, “an inspiring and heartwarming journey from a small Colombian town to life in the fast lane of Los Angeles as a mother and daughter struggle to overcome war, poverty, and heartbreak, learning to survive on their own and adapt as immigrants in America.” Mendoza will share a special conversation with Soledad O’Brien on the evening of the book release about her life as an immigrant, what is means to be Latina in this country and the future of immigration.
This intimate and epic tale begins in the early 1970s as Mariana, the seventeen-year-old daughter of one of the richest and most powerful families in Buga, Colombia, falls deeply in love with Antonio, the humble son of a fisherman. Cast out by their families, the young couple and their two small children leave behind a country ravaged by a never-ending war, seeking a better life in the United States. But their American dream soon turns into a nightmare and, desperate to save her daughter, Mariana must find the strength to make the most painful decision a mother could ever face, before it’s too late.
“ As an immigrant to this country I have seen the beauty of opportunity as well as the pain of sacrifice. The journey my family and I have had is a tremendous one, from sleeping on the streets of Los Angeles to obtaining my Master’s degree, to writing my first book. I know that it is only in this country that my story is possible. As this nation enters into a much needed conversation about immigration I hope that all those that have come to this country in search of a better life are given the chance to succeed.”
The author Paola Mendoza is an actress, director, screenwriter and author. As an actress she has starred in many critically acclaimed films including Sangre De Mi Sangre, Entre Nos, and On the Outs. As a director she was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” She has directed both short and feature length films including Entre Nos, Half of Her, Autumn’s Eyes, and La Toma, all of which have been embraced by the most prestigious film festivals around the world, such as Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Berlinale, Tribeca Film Festival, and South By South West. Ms. Mendoza was a nominee for the 2008 & 2010 NALIP Estel Awards, given to Latino filmmakers that show extraordinary accomplishment in the field of directing.