A Place Where the Sea Remembers

A novel by Sandra Benítez

September 1, 1993 • 5.5 x 8.5 • 160 pages • 978-1-56689-011-3

The hopes, triumphs, failures, and shortcomings of the novel’s enchanting array of characters create a graceful picture of life that is both a universal portrait and an insider’s look at life in Latin America.

In A Place Where the Sea Remembers, Sandra Benítez invites us into a mesmerizing world filled with, love and betrayal, tragedy and hope. This rich and bewitching story is a bittersweet portrait of the people in Santiago, a Mexican village by the sea. Chayo, the flower seller, and her husband Candelario, the salad maker, are finally blessed with the child they thought they would never have. Their cause for happiness, however, triggers a chain of events that impact the lives of everyone in their world.

About the Author

Puerto Rican and Midwestern by heritage, Sandra Benítez spent her youth in Mexico, El Salvador and Missouri. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The Chariton Review and A View From the Loft. A Place Where the Sea Remembers, published by Coffee House Press, was her first book. She currently lives in Edina, Minnesota, with her husband. Benítez has received a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction for fiction, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant as well as a 1992 Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship. She was the Hispanic Mentor for The Loft Inroads Program from 1989 to 1992. In the Spring of 2001, she held the Knapp Chair in Humanities as Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of San Diego. She is also is the recipient of the 2004 National Hispanic Heritage Award Honoree for Literature. In December 2006, Benitez received one of the first United States Artists Awards, being named a USA Gund Fellow.


A Place Where the Sea Remembers is a contemporary but universal tragedy which resounds with a sense of hope. Sandra Benítez sketches rich and complex portraits of the people who inhabit this Mexican village by the sea . . . This cast of characters has haunted me since I read the book. I recommend it highly.” —Rudolfo Anaya

“Sandra Benítez’s world is poignant, passionate, bittersweet. There are no small lives. Her characters are magnificent, merciful, soul-rooted creatures clinging to the shore.” —Denise Chávez

“A vivid, graceful, tautly constructed work of fiction that succeeds on numerous artistic levels. Sandra Benítez has clearly put her heart into this book, and I’m confident that the reader will feel the emotional grip of a splendid new storyteller.” —Tim O’Brien