We are pleased to announce the publication of the latest in our Ploughshares Solos series: “Villa Bohème” by Kevin A. González! The Ploughshares Solos series allows us to publish longer stories and essays first in an affordable digital format, and then in our annual Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Series. For more information and some great reading material, check out our previously published Solos, or the Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Volume 2.
About “Villa Bohème”
Villa Bohème is a Puerto Rican motel where, in the words of one of the “strays” who have assembled there, the people are biding their time. They drink, they play darts, they wait on the beach for something to happen. This washed-up place is run by a washed-up lawyer with one remaining client, and into it steps Tito, the lawyer’s son, fourteen years old, smart and surly, fleeing his mother and her annoying boyfriend. Amid the various lost people who inhabit the motel, Tito begins to make his way into adulthood, serving drinks, reading Judy Blume books in secret, fantasizing about the sexy bartender, and navigating the heady atmosphere of Puerto Rican politics.
“Villa Bohème” is available for $1.99.
Here’s an excerpt from the Solo:
In the summer, your father starts taking in the strays. First come Pete and Jane.
They’re from Texarcana and they’re spending a week at the El San Juan Hotel. When they walk into the Trolley, they sit next to your father.
“This is paradise,” Pete says. He lifts his drink. “You, my friend, have got it made.” He’s got a Navy pension and a scar like a monorail around his neck.
“You like it here so much,” your father says, “why don’t you stay?” Then he starts to sell Villa Bohème. “HBO. A/C. Hot tub,” he says. “Best beach on the island. Fun and sun all the livelong day. Take my kid.” He points to you. “Please!” he says.
Pete laughs, and you grab your darts and walk away.
About the Author
Kevin A. González is the author of a collection of poems, Cultural Studies, and the co-editor of The New Census: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. His stories have been awarded the Narrative Prize, the Playboy College Fiction Prize, and the Michener-Copernicus Award, and they have appeared in Narrative, Playboy, Virginia Quarterly Review, Mississippi Review, Best American Nonrequired Reading and Best New American Voices. He teaches at Carnegie Mellon University and serves as editor of jubilat.