Advance Praise for the Memoir

“…a gorgeously vivid memoir reminiscent of Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street with its lyrical voice and tender narrator. The book pulses like a constellation in the night sky.”

— Jimin Han, author of A Small Revolution

“In this lyrical chronicle about a girl growing up Jewish in Panama, we learn from Marlena Baraf that it is possible to live on that narrow edge between countries, languages, and spiritual homes.”

— Ruth Behar, author of Lucky Broken Girl, and An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba

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I am an immigrant American who's fallen into the soup. I love words that illustrate different perspectives. Hybrid. Hyphenated. Bilingual. Multicultural. Synthesis. My memoir, At the Narrow Waist of the World, shows the incredible power community and families of any size can have in sustaining young people.

What are reasons people leave one homeland for another? How does digging deep into another culture help us grow?

Explore my published essays or my blog.