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Cleyvis Natera on Neruda on the Park with Naima Coster

May 17, 2022

When demolition begins on a nearby tenement, the Guerreros are forced to reimagine their life in Nothar Park, the predominantly Dominican part of New York City where they have lived for the last twenty years. The family fragments—the elder, Eusebia, scheming to stop construction, the daughter, Luz, distracted by a sweltering romance with the developer, and the father, Vladimir, secretly scheming to retire in the Dominican Republic. PEN awardee Cleyvis Natera’s debut novel, Neruda on the Park, is a long-awaited interrogation of the pressures of gentrification, and what happens when the forces of ambition uproot a long-settled family tree.

Natera joined Kirkus Prize finalist Naima Coster in conversation, unpacking this electric debut and interrogating the sacrifices we make to protect what we love most.

In Conversation

  • Cleyvis Natera by Beowulf Sheehan

    Cleyvis Natera

    Cleyvis Natera

    Cleyvis Natera was born in the Dominican Republic, migrated to the U.S. at ten years old, and grew up in New York City. She holds a BA from Skidmore College and an MFA from New York University. Her writing has won awards and fellowships from PEN America, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Kenyon Review’s Summer Writers Workshops, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives with her husband and two young children in Montclair, New Jersey. This is her first novel.

    Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan

  • Naima Coster: author portraits

    Naima Coster

    Naima Coster

    Naima Coster is the author of two novels, What’s Mine and Yours, an instant New York Times bestseller, and her debut, Halsey Street, which was a finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Naima’s stories and essays have appeared in Elle, Time, Kweli, the New York Times, the Cut, the Sunday Times, Catapult, and elsewhere. In 2020, she received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honor.

    Naima has taught writing for over a decade in community settings, youth programs, and universities. She currently teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Antioch University in L.A. She occasionally writes the newsletter, Bloom How You Must. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.