How Do I Wear a Panama Hat?

Friends and Readers, my memoir is 12 days from official pub date! I’d love your company during this adventure. Join me at upcoming events, one at Bryant Park in NYC on August 21, and my book launch at Barnes & Noble in Eastchester, NY, on September 15. I’ll also be in Panama for the International Book Fair, Aug.13-17.

“…a gorgeously vivid memoir reminiscent of Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street, with its lyrical voice and tender narrator.”
— Jimin Han, author of A Small Revolution


Here’s how you join MY PANAMA HAT CAMPAIGN:

  1. At the Narrow Waist of the World can be ordered from any bookstore, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

  2. When you get your copy, take a photograph holding the book and wearing a Panama Hat (or ANY hat! Other funny hats prove the point.) Email the image to me so I can post it. 

  3. If you use Instagram, I’d love if you’d post as well using #atthenarrowwaistoftheworld and tag me @marlenamadurobaraf. That would be amazing.

  4. Read At the Narrow Waist of the World. I hope it resonates for you in many wonderful ways. If you have any thoughts or questions, please be in touch.

  5. Post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. This is a very important detail because it goes a long way to helping others discover the book.

Thank you so much for the love,

How to Wear A Genuine Ecuadorian Panama Hat:

Panama Hats are made in Ecuador from finely woven toquilla straw, which is a palm. Ecuadorians have been making these hats for hundreds of years. Because Panama was a crossroads for people during the American Gold Rush (1840s and 1850s), the building of the French Canal (which was a failure) and the American Canal (1904-1914), many hats were sold in Panama—and they came to be known as Panama Hats. My grandfather Jicky sold them in his shop, alongside books, fishing tackle, egret feathers, ostrich eggs, shrunken heads, and women’s underthings from Paris. The hats are woven by hand and the best have the finest, smallest weave and even color. For a good fit, a Panama Hat should sit about ¾” above the top of your ears. I like it at a slightly rakish angle, but that’s up to you.