Description

“Brilliant.” —The Washington Post * “Nuanced and compelling.” —The New York Times

From the PEN/Hemingway Award–winning author of The Madonnas of Echo Park, an engrossing dystopian novel set in a near-future America where mandatory identification wristbands turn second-generation immigrants into second-class citizens—“a well-imagined allegory of divisive racial politics” (Kirkus Reviews).

Iris Prince is starting over. After years of drifting apart, she and her husband are going through a surprisingly drama-free divorce. She’s moved to a new house in a new neighborhood, and has plans for gardening, coffee clubs, and spending more time with her nine-year-old daughter Melanie. It feels like her life is finally exactly what she wants it to be.

Then, one beautiful morning, she looks outside her kitchen window—and sees that a wall has appeared in her front yard overnight. Where did it come from? What does it mean? And why does it seem to keep growing?

Meanwhile, a Silicon Valley startup has launched a high-tech wrist wearable called “the Band.” Pitched as a convenient, eco-friendly tool to help track local utilities and replace driver’s licenses and IDs, the Band is available only to those who can prove parental citizenship.

Suddenly, Iris, a proud second-generation Mexican American, is now of “unverifiable origin,” unable to prove who she is, or where she, and her undocumented loved ones, belong. Amid a climate of fear and hate-fueled violence, Iris must confront how far she'll go to protect what matters to her most.

“Part social commentary and part thoughtful consideration of themes that include family, identity, transitions, perspectives, and hope” (Shelf Awareness), My Name Is Iris is an all-too-possible story that offers a brilliant and timely look at one woman’s journey to discover who she can’t—and can—be.

About the author(s)

Brando Skyhorse’s debut novel, The Madonnas of Echo Park, won the 2011 PEN/Hemingway Award and the Sue Kaufman Award for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His memoir, Take This Man, was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2014 and one of NBC News’s 10 Best Latino Books of 2014. A recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center fellowship, Skyhorse teaches English and creative writing at Indiana University Bloomington.

Reviews

My Name Is Iris offers a sharp vision of how racism gets imbibed by its victims like a sweet poison. . . . Could there be a more incisive diagnosis of our era? . . . As Skyhorse’s clever satire accelerates into a truly terrifying thriller, the most insidious functions of racism appear illuminated in an eerie new light. . . . Brilliant.”
—Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“Nuanced and compelling . . . It was satisfying to read about a demographic so often invisible, to see a community brought into focus through a woman with an inner life that is layered, confusing, and at times unflattering. Narratives like this are rare, and I was grateful for it.”
Erika L. Sánchez, New York Times

“A chilling near-reality dystopian novel . . . My Name Is Iris is part social commentary and part thoughtful consideration of themes that include family, identity, transitions, perspectives, and hope. In addition to being an engrossing, discomfiting tale, this will make an excellent book club selection and fuel for tough conversations.”
Shelf Awareness

“Skyhorse’s satirical eye is sharp. . . . He cultivates an engrossing Kafkaesque atmosphere across the novel. A well-imagined allegory of divisive racial politics.”
Kirkus Reviews

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