First Gen: A Memoir

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Finalist for the Golden Poppy's Martin Cruz Smith Award
Longlisted for the Outstanding Works of Literature (OWL) Award for First Year Experience

An unflinching memoir and "invaluable resource" (Kirkus) about navigating social mobility as a first gen Latina--offering both a riveting personal story and an examination of the unacknowledged emotional tolls of being a trailblazer.

Alejandra Campoverdi has been a child on welfare, a White House aide to President Obama, a Harvard graduate, a gang member's girlfriend, and a candidate for U.S. Congress. She's ridden on Air Force One and in G-rides. She's been featured in Maxim magazine and had a double mastectomy. Living a life of contradictory extremes often comes with the territory when you're a "First and Only." It also comes at a price.

With candor and heart, Alejandra retraces her trajectory as a Mexican American woman raised by an immigrant single mother in Los Angeles. Foregoing the tidy bullet points of her resume and instead shining a light on the spaces between them, what emerges is a powerful testimony that shatters the one-dimensional glossy narrative we are often sold of what it takes to achieve the American Dream. In this timely and revealing reflection, Alejandra draws from her own experiences to name and frame the challenges First and Onlys often face, illuminating a road to truth, healing, and change in the process.

Part memoir, part manifesto, FIRST GEN is a story of generational inheritance, aspiration, and the true meaning of belonging--a gripping journey to "reclaim the parts of ourselves we sacrificed in order to survive."

Author: Alejandra Campoverdi
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: 09/12/2023
Pages: 288
Weight: 0.95lbs
Size: 8.40h x 5.80w x 1.20d
ISBN: 9781538757185

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 07/15/2023
Booklist 08/01/2023 pg. 6
Shelf Awareness 09/15/2023

About the Author

Alejandra Campoverdi is a nationally-recognized women's health advocate, founder, producer, writer, and a former Obama White House official. She produced the PBS health documentary Inheritance, founded Latinos & BRCA in partnership with Penn Medicine's Basser Center, and served as White House Deputy Director of Hispanic Media. Alejandra holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and graduated cum laude from the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. She currently serves on the boards of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, and the California Community Foundation, and previously received a gubernatorial appointment to the Medical Board of California and was a Commissioner for First 5 California.

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