Finding Family Secrets

Anika Fajardo ’97 searches for her long-lost father in the memoir Magical Realism for Non-Believers.

Magical Realism for Non-Believers book cover

In Magical Realism for Non-Believers: A Memoir of Finding Family, Anika Fajardo ’97 of Minneapolis shares her journey of meeting her father at age 21. Born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota, Fajardo grew up with the explanation that her father loved Colombia too much to leave it — but by her early 20s, she wanted to know more.

Fajardo sought to learn about a father who was a stranger and a birthplace that was unfamiliar to her, so she flew to Colombia in 1995 for answers. As she tentatively stepped into her father’s life, secrets about her family and herself emerged.

The memoir offers a look back at the broken marriage of Fajardo’s parents and a peek into the present day, when Fajardo becomes a parent herself. It illuminates the obstacles she faced along the way and her difficult path to understanding her place in her family and in the world. Described as “vivid and heartfelt,” the book explores Fajardo’s self-transformation and the meaning of family.

Anika Fajardo

Anika Fajardo describes the pain of “getting what you thought you wanted and finding it less than satisfying.” Dave Dieken ’97

“Fajardo describes the pain of yearning for something you can’t quite articulate, of getting what you thought you wanted and finding it less than satisfying,” said a BuzzFeed review. “She dives into her family’s past and continues her story into her own adulthood, laying bare the many complicated ways our family informs who we are and how we interact with the world.”

Published in the Winter 2019 issue

Tags: Alumni, books, family

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