Alternately honest, funny, and visceral, this powerful collection follows De Leon as she comes of age as a Guatemalan-American woman and learns to navigate the space between two worlds. Never rich or white enough for her posh college, she finds herself equally adrift in her first weeks in her parents’ home country. During the years to follow, she would return to Guatemala again and again, meet ex-guerrillera and genocide survivors, get married in the old cobblestoned capital of Antigua, and teach her newborn son about his roots.
As cosmic struggles play out against the backdrop of forgotten strip malls, suburban cul-de-sacs, and grimy cities, guidance comes from the unlikeliest of sources. In prose both dreamlike and vivid, the characters in Pete Duval’s second collection navigate paths through a landscape of vestigial faith and nagging doubt.
While Mara gave up on Linda years ago and couldn’t have less in common with her sister, an unemployed stoner, it’s time for her to stop running from everything that makes her have feelings. This is a novel about the persistent, mystifying ties of family, the extravagant mess of addiction, and what it means to actually live inside your own life.
A Drunkard's Defense
In A Drunkard’s Defense, Michele Rotunda examines a variety of court cases to explore the attitudes of nineteenth-century physicians, legal professionals, temperance advocates, and ordinary Americans toward the relationship between drunkenness, violence, and responsibility, providing broader insights into the country’s complicated relationship with alcohol.