Details

ISBN-10: 0872868826
ISBN-13: 9780872868823
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 05/17/2022
Dimensions: 0.00" L, 0.00" W, 0.00" H

Published by City Lights

Family Album: Stories

Translator: Dick Cluster
Translator: Mary Ellen Fieweger

Price: $15.95 $11.17

Overview

Family Album is Ecuadorian author Gabriela Alemán’s rollicking follow-up to her acclaimed English-language debut, Poso Wells. Alemán is known for her spirited and sardonic take on the fatefully interconnected–and often highly compromised–forces at work in present-day South America, and particularly in Ecuador. In this collection of eight hugely entertaining short stories, she teases tropes of […]

Family Album is Ecuadorian author Gabriela Alemán’s rollicking follow-up to her acclaimed English-language debut, Poso Wells.

Alemán is known for her spirited and sardonic take on the fatefully interconnected–and often highly compromised–forces at work in present-day South America, and particularly in Ecuador. In this collection of eight hugely entertaining short stories, she teases tropes of hardboiled detective fiction, satire, and adventure narratives to recast the discussion of national identity. A muddy brew of pop-culture and pop-folklore yields intriguing, lesser-known episodes of contemporary Ecuadorian history, along with a rich cast of unforgettable characters whose intimate stories open up onto a vista of Ecuador’s place on the world stage.

From a pair of deep-sea divers using Robinson Crusoe’s map of a shipwreck to locate sunken treasure in the Galapagos Archipelago, to a night with the husband of Ecuador’s most infamous expat, Lorena Bobbit, this series of cracked “family portraits” provides a cast of picaresque heroes and anti-heroes in stories that sneak up on a reader before they know what’s happened: they’ve learned a great deal about a country whose more well known exports–soccer, coffee and cocoa–mask an intriguing national story that’s ripe for the telling.

“Divers, adventurers, wrestlers, athletes: a diverse array of people come to light in these stories to insist again and again in challenging the weight of the written letter. Gabriela Alemán’s stories inhabit the past to work through its possible versions. Her characters understand that History is a form of desire and the truth is not a house but a patina covering a place that has ceased to exist.”–Yuri Herrera, author of A Silent Fury: The El Bordo Mine Fire

These stories are like lizards lying on rocks in the sun. When you try to pick one up it darts away and disappears. Sometimes a tail comes off in your hand or the thing bites your fingers and drops of blood decorate the rock. Best read while listening to Julio Jaramillo sing ‘Amor sin Esperanza’ and ‘Hojas Muertas.'”–Barry Gifford, author of Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels

“Gabriela Alemán writes beautiful, sly, enigmatic stories originating in a rogues gallery of real life legends, including El Santo and John Wayne Bobbitt, as well as lesser known and invented souls, all of them struggling against the silent–or is it hostile?–backdrop of Ecuador’s past and present. Family Album is a mordantly funny and haunting collection.”–Zachary Lazar, author of Vengeance

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Reviews

Praise for Family Album by Gabriela Alemán

"Divers, adventurers, wrestlers, athletes: a diverse array of people come to light in these stories to insist again and again in challenging the weight of the written letter. Gabriela Alemán's stories inhabit the past to work through its possible versions. Her characters understand that History is a form of desire and the truth is not a house but a patina covering a place that has ceased to exist."–Yuri Herrera, author of A Silent Fury: The El Bordo Mine Fire

These stories are like lizards lying on rocks in the sun. When you try to pick one up it darts away and disappears. Sometimes a tail comes off in your hand or the thing bites your fingers and drops of blood decorate the rock. Best read while listening to Julio Jaramillo sing 'Amor sin Esperanza' and 'Hojas Muertas.'"–Barry Gifford, author of Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels

"Gabriela Alemán writes beautiful, sly, enigmatic stories originating in a rogues gallery of real life legends, including El Santo and John Wayne Bobbitt, as well as lesser known and invented souls, all of them struggling against the silent–or is it hostile?–backdrop of Ecuador's past and present. Family Album is a mordantly funny and haunting collection."–Zachary Lazar, author of Vengeance

"Gabriela Alemán takes us through the back alleys of Ecuador's cultural imagination, conjuring up buccaneers and baronesses, luchador movie stars, Biddy Basketball Leagues, and someone named Lorena Bobbitt. The stories in Family Album are dark, witty, and beautifully strange. Reading Alemán is like trying to touch the seabed with your toes: the depths of her craft are seemingly endless."–Stephan Sebastian Herrera, 2021 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow

"It's no easy feat to convey the gamut of human experience in any single text, yet Family Album does just that: the writing enthralls its reader with beautifully executed portraits of the human race in all its indignity, desire, rage, and poignancy. Alemán crafts her stories with the touch of an ultimate seeker."–Eugenie Dalland, editor of Riot of Perfume Magazine

"A fresh, vibrant, and original look at a fascinating part of the world that few of us here in the United States know much about."–Dalt Wonk, author of French Quarter Fables

"Gabriela Alemán's mesmerizing prose takes us places we've never been to meet and understand people whose lives on the margins of society she depicts with profound psychological acuity and compassion."–Josephine Sacabo, author of Structures of Reverie

Praise for Poso Wells by Gabriela Alemán

"Poso Wells is ironic, audacious, and fierce. But what is it, exactly? A satire? A scifi novel? A political detective yarn? Or the purest reality of contemporary Latin America. It's unclassifiable–as all great books are."–Samanta Schweblin, author of Fever Dream

"One part Thomas Pynchon, one part Gabriel García Marquez, and one part Raymond Chandler, Alemán's novel contains mystery, horror, humor, absurdity, and political commentary . . . A concoction of political thriller and absurdist literary mystery that never fails to entertain."–Kirkus Reviews

"The story is a condemnation not only of the corrupt businessmen and the criminal gangs that rule Poso Wells but also of the violence against women that plagues Latin America's real slums."–The New Yorker

"Poso Wells is an intriguing name for a thrilling novel of politics, environmental destruction and wildly imaginative occurrences that slide right to the edge of reality. The landscape includes the threatened rape of a cloud forest, a collection of fantastical blind heroes, and a presidential candidate who pees himself to death on stage. The English translation is fast and clear as the story rolls towards its ending on a steaming volcano. The first English translation of noted Brazilian-Ecuadorian novelist, Gabriela Alemán. I hope that many more follow."–Stephen Williams, author of Blockchain: The Next Everything

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Details

ISBN-10: 0872868826
ISBN-13: 9780872868823
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 05/17/2022
Dimensions: 0.00" L, 0.00" W, 0.00" H
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