Author Archive

Water, Stars, and Home in Things We Lost to the Water

So many refugees who are separated from their homes by seas and oceans and rivers, gravitate towards water; so many of them look up at the stars and wonder about the stories we don’t know. Reading Eric Nguyen’s novel, I think about how water can both separate you from

Storytelling and Inherited Trauma in Of Women and Salt

As we read Gabriela Garcia’s debut novel, we come to understand that because of the trauma generations past experienced, stories get silenced, whether because the people involved die prematurely or because they are so traumatized that they hope that by silencing their stories they can stop their own pain—or

Reading New Orleans Writers on Hurricanes and Home

When Hurricane Ida struck New Orleans, I was one of the lucky ones with family outside of the city that I could stay with to ride out the aftermath of the storm, when the poor infrastructure and the ways the powerful have ripped off the people comes to light

The Ghosts of the Unseen in The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You

Maurice Carlos Ruffin writes about fathers trying to reach their sons, about peoples recently released from prison, about fathers with dead daughters, about people experiencing homelessness, showing the erasure that they feel by writing about these unseen, and about the ghosts that try to reach them.

A Small Place and the Attempts to Ban Critical Race Theory

There is a key part of A Small Place in which Kincaid writes about how people like her, who come from colonized homes, struggle with their past. “Do you ever try to understand why people like me cannot get over the past, cannot forgive and cannot forget?” she asks.

The Revision of Stories in Long Division

In revising his debut novel, about Black teenagers who time travel to see their family, Laymon gets to relive the experience of creating and being in his novel, in a world he created to and for his peoples.

The Power of the Cuban Peoples’s Verses

José Martí, Margarita Engle, and the San Isidro Movement have contributed, over the course of a century, to the long tradition of writing about a free Cuba through poetics. The government knows the revolutionary history and power of artists and poets in Cuba, and they fear it.

Reading The Transmigration of Bodies

When I started reading Yuri Herrera’s 2013 novel, I wasn’t trying to read another pandemic book. The pandemic has fatigued me more and more lately. The isolation, the death counts sent to my phone every morning, the anxiety of unwittingly spreading the virus in the grocery store and killing

The Power of Documenting Your Own Story

Patricia Engel’s new novel demonstrates the importance of taking back your narrative, of learning and documenting your own story for no one but yourself.

The Stories Inherited in Speak, Okinawa

Elizabeth Miki Brina traces the stories of her mother and father and delves into the relationships between their homes to examine her inheritances and figure out how they’ve manifested within her.