Carmen Rita's New Novel Brings To Light The Duality Of Being Latina & Successful
Carmen Rita Wong is a New Yorker and native Dominican American whose illustrious résumé boasts author, media host, CEO and Founder of Malecón Productions, and co-creator and former host of CNBC's ”On the Money”. The financial wizard today is writing under Carmen Rita as she speaks to NBC Latino’s Carmen Pelaez about her debut novel in her new trilogy, Never Too Real.
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“My favorite rejection letter said, 'We are not looking for aspirational in this market at this time,'" she said. 'As we all know, that is code for "We don't want successful stories of Latinas. We want suffering ones.'”
Taking matters into her own hands, Rita intentionally based her novel's characters on her friends and herself, creating a genuine representation of successful women of color. Never Too Real is a universal story about four professional Latina friends. It deals with diversity, and touches on a side of women of color that isn’t normally brought to light. “People don't see enough of it—successful Latinas, successful women of color,” she added.
A huge fan of '90s women literature, Rita found inspiration in films and novels like Waiting to Exhale and The Joy Luck Club. “[It] really helped inspire me to aspire, to feel normal as a woman of color,” she said. “Where is that in fiction now? Where are those stories about glamorous first generation women of color with money and education?”
Rita has travel around the country and appeared at various events, yet her favorite group to talk with remains young women. “I want them to feel the same way I did when I picked up The Joy Luck Club.
“I want to give women, especially Latinas who have always been the pillars in their families, the ability to be vulnerable and be OK with it, a bit of permission to do that,” said Rita. “It's then that we realize that we're not alone, that we are communities and families, and we're huge.” The way Rita sees it, our vulnerability as Latinas and women of color is our strength.
For more details on Never Too Real, visit Rita's website.