BOOK DESCRIPTION:  A Spanglish girl’s gritty tale of trauma and triumph while pursuing the American dream. NEWYORICANGIRL must navigate a traumatic childhood that includes rape, her father’s abandonment and her mother’s shameful life as the mistress of a powerful CEO while also dealing with her family’s poverty and violence in the South Bronx of the 1960s.  After she is moved to Manhattan, her Puerto Rican spirit is torn apart by the Jewish stepfather who forcibly adopts her at the request of her Puerto Rican mother.  In spite of her blistering assimilation scars, she becomes the first college graduate in her family and tries hard to overcome the wounds of her upbringing. 
Just when she believes she is putting her painful assimilated past behind her, she finds herself in New York City on September 11th 2001, when she had planned to celebrate her success in Corporate America.  As the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder present themselves, NEWYORICANGIRL finds herself in the fight of her life when her mental health crisis unfolds and she is unable to distinguish the trauma of past events with the safety of her present day experience.

As all of the terrifying memories of the past return to haunt her, she must rely on her family, her doctors and her faith to overcome the relentless trauma she is reliving. NEWYORICANGIRL has to claw her way back to reclaim the Puerto Rican life stolen from her. She emerges as a change agent for Puerto Rico in honor of her cherished children and beloved ancestral home.

AUTHOR BIO:   Julia Torres Barden is an award-winning journalist, former cable industry spokesperson and first college graduate in her Puerto Rican family.  Her first novel, “NEWYORICANGIRL…Surviving my Spanglish Life” is a mostly-true memoir presented as a novel due to the provocative content included in her book.  As a survivor of childhood rape and abduction, family poverty and violence, a forced adoption and a very painful assimilation experience, she is also a survivor of 9/11 and a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  

She has penned her life’s story in an effort to educate and enlighten others, while dedicated to advocating for her fellow victims of trauma. Julia is proudest of breaking the generational cycle of family violence and substance abuse while raising her three children.  As a Puerto Rican activist, she remains passionate about her advocacy efforts to demand that the U.S. Congress debate a 28th Amendment which would secure equal voting rights for her fellow Americans living in Puerto Rico.