Everything you need to understand or teach Empress of the Splendid Season by Oscar Hijuelos.
Lydia Espana represents the common immigrant who comes to America with dreams fertilized by a healthy dose of Hollywood fare. As a young girl in Cuba she meets Errol Flynn and she imagines that in America, the land of the movies themselves, she can meet many more famous people, and among them, she would have her place.
It is these unreasonable dreams along with her meager inheritance that are the first to go when she arrives in New York. Being displaced and looking for a place to belong are of extreme importance in this story.
Lydia is forced from her home and finds herself in New York, where she becomes a seamstress in a factory in deplorable conditions. She falls from being the spoiled daughter of a prominent man to a common worker sewing fake pearls on sweaters. She finds herself in conditions that are utterly foreign to her...