Podcast: First Lady of the Mall

In telling her story of immigration from Brazil to the United States at the age of 15, Bruna Massadas recreates an adolescent world overwhelmed by Americanized fantasies: the kind ruled by blond-haired, blue-eyed beauties; the kind filled with laugh tracks and dramatic closeups and the inevitable happy ending. But she also depicts the actual America she soon encountered: high school halls crowded with immigrants and teenage hormones; nights plagued by typical worries over fashion and boyfriends, but complicated with anxieties over language and cultural assimilation.