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LISTEN: Author Crystal Maldonado On Celebrating A 'Fat' Heroine In Her Debut Novel

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Charlie Vega is the heroine of Crystal Maldonado’s debut young-adult novel, “Fat Chance, Charlie Vega.” When Charlie describes herself, she uses the word “fat.” She’s learning to celebrate who she is and how she looks -- although her weight still affects her relationships with crushes, her best friend and her mom. 

“My thing was, I never got to see a fat character, especially a fat brown girl, who gets to be that heroine, who gets to be desired and who gets to love herself,” Maldonado told NEXT. “So I thought, well, maybe I’ll just write one.”

Maldonado, who grew up in Connecticut and lives in New England, said she drew heavily on her own upbringing when writing the book. And now “Fat Chance, Charlie Vega” is getting national buzz.

This interview was featured on NEXT from the New England News Collaborative. Listen to the entire episode here.

Morgan Springer is the host/producer for the weekly show NEXT and the New England News Collaborative, a ten-station consortium of public radio newsrooms. She joined WNPR in 2019. Before working at Connecticut Public Radio, Morgan was the news director at Interlochen Public Radio in northern Michigan, where she launched and co-hosted a weekly show Points North.

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