144 pp. | paper | $14.00
a novel by Lourdes Vázquez
translated by Bethany Korp-Edwards
In Not Myself Without You, a working-class Puerto Rican family of the 1950s lives surrounded by spirits, ghosts, and witches, a result of incantations performed in their living room. Chronicling nearly two decades of the family's history, including their occult activities, the story involves characters who are centered in Puerto Rico but who move through the Caribbean, Central America, Spain, and New York as they are pulled by the economic, political, and social conditions of the times as well as by their own intense desires. Lacking the tools to understand the complexity of the world around them, these beings often travel without a clear concept of place or time, enveloped in a constant aura of exile. As their stories come to light through fragments of prayers, sayings, poems, newspaper articles, and excerpts from books (a sort of family scrapbook) the characters themselves speak a wide range of issues in voices that are familiar and humorous. Based on oral history and research, Not Myself Without You is the author's own memoir with a strong fictional twist.
Lourdes Vázquez is the author of numerous works of fiction, poetry, essays, and interviews that have been published worldwide. Her most recent full-length works include the script A Porcelain Doll with Violet Eyes, Staring into Space ( Wheelhouse Magazine, 2009); Samandar: libro de viajes/Book of Travels (Buenos Aires: Tse Tse, 2007), and a collection of poetry, Bestiary (Bilingual Press, 2004). In 2002 she was a winner of the prestigious Juan Rulfo prize for short story. She has contributed to many journals, newspapers, and anthologies, and she is working on two more books.