Rose Hill: An Intermarriage before Its Time
Biography, Religious biography, Journals and memoirs, Death and bereavement
Synthetic audio, Automated braille
A Jewish Mexican American author chronicles his family’s tumultuous, decades-long spars over religion, class, and culture in this candid, inspiring memoir.The son of a Mexican Catholic father with aristocratic roots and a mother of Eastern European Jewish descent, Carlos E.… Cortés grew up wedged between cultures. He grew up “straddling borders, balancing loves and loyalties, and trying to fit into a world that wasn’t quite ready.” His request for a bar mitzvah sent his father into a cursing rage. He was terrified to bring home the Catholic girl he was dating, for fear of wounding his mother. When he tried to join a fraternity, Christians wouldn’t take him because he was Jewish, and Jews looked sideways at him because his father was Mexican.In Rose Hill, Cortés recounts his family’s experiences from his early years in legally segregated 1940s Kansas City to his return to Berkeley in the 1950s, and to his parents’ separation, reconciliation, deaths, and eventual burials at the Rose Hill Cemetery. Cortés elevates the theme of intermarriage to a new level of complexity in this closely observed and emotionally fraught memoir.