“This novel was originally a short story that I began writing ten years ago. So, it is difficult to pinpoint its exact beginnings, but I know that I was thinking a lot about loss, family, the violence of migration, and identity. I watched a lot of reality tv in my twenties and the short story began with the premise: what if you recognized somebody from your past on tv, somebody who you lost? I’m interested too in the way that women disappear every day in real life and how representations of Black and Brown women are often missing or distorted in pop culture.” ―Claire Jiménez, Interview, She Reads
What booksellers are saying about What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez
- For fans of Angie Cruz, What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez is at times laugh out loud hilarious while also delivering an poignant account of a young woman searching for herself as she searches for her sister. The first page left me breathless! Jimenez delivers a sophisticated, plainspoken account of a Latina teen grappling with the urge and opportunity to escape her Staten Island family while also recognizing the value of the intense, turbulent bond she has with her mother and sister.
―Adah Fitzgerald from Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina | Buy from Main Street Books
- What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez is the story of a missing Puerto Rican teenage girl living in New York, and the heartbreak that has amplified over the years since her discovery. When her sisters think they spotted their sister as an adult on a reality show, they begin a hopeful plan to find and bring Ruthy home. Jimenez is a talented storyteller, weaving in humor and letting each character shine while exploring a very real, very heartbreaking story. Highly recommended for book clubs and readers who enjoy books like Olga Dies Dreaming.
―Beth Seufer Buss from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina | Buy from Bookmarks
- Two things are true about the Ramirez family: 1. Family is important 2. Family sticks together (right?) For over a decade, the Ramirez family has been struggling with the disappearance of Ruthy (oldest daughter, big sister). With no new information in years, the search feels over, that is until her sister’s see someone who looks remarkably like her on a reality TV show. Hijinks ensue as they attempt to get in contact with “Ruby” aka Ruthy without their mother finding out. But hey, sometimes family is you, your older sister, her baby, your mother, and your mother’s best friend who still dresses in powersuits. Funny, moving, and fast-paced, this is one book I’d recommend for literally anyone.
―Jamie Kovacs from Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Buy from Flyleaf Books
About Claire Jiménez
Claire Jiménez is a Puerto Rican writer who grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island. She is the author of the short story collection Staten Island Stories, which received the 2019 Hornblower Award for a first book from the New York Society Library and was named a finalist for the International Latino Book Awards, a New York Public Library Favorite Book about New York, and Best Latino Book of 2019 by NBC News. She received her MFA from Vanderbilt University and her PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2020, she cofounded the Puerto Rican Literature Project, a digital archive. Currently she is an Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. Her fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Remezcla, AfroHispanic Review, PANK, The Rumpus, and Eater, among other publications. What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez is her debut novel.