Earlier this year, I decided to write a story that dealt with how outsiders exoticize and romanticize Cuban people and the country’s crumbling infrastructure when traveling there. The story became, among other things, about a woman and her journey to keep her dilapidated building from collapsing while the American President’s impending visit looms over the country (this was inspired by Obama’s historic visit and the hope that it brought to the island at the time). It was a story that, more than any other I’ve written, made me feel like a real writer as I worked on it. Last night, the story was accepted for publication by one of my favorite literary magazines, The Kenyon Review.
Because my process has become a kind of communal endeavor, big thanks must go out to a list of people: Alina, Artem, Jonathan, Lauren, Shubha, Alison, Shuchi, and Sean: thank you all for your feedback and support!
The story is tentatively scheduled to come out next fall.
I’m immensely excited and honored to have been selected as one of City of Boston’s inaugural Artist Fellows! The fellowship award includes $10,000 and the opportunity to collaborate with the city on a public display of my work. I am incredibly grateful for the support Boston is showing its artists, and for the ways in which this fellowship will help me work on my second novel over the next year. Oh, and I got to meet the Mayor!
I’m participating on a panel with some fellow Latina/o writers at the Connolly Branch of the Boston Public Library in Jamaica Plain this coming Monday, October 2nd at 6pm. We will be discussing our paths to publication as a way to inspire new Latina/o writers to reach their own publishing goals!
A few years ago, my good friend Jonathan Escoffery, after having read a different piece I’d written, said to me, “You should write a story about two friends working at a hotel in Cuba who want to marry a tourist in order to leave the country.” And so I did. The story, titled “Daredevils,” ended up being about a lot more than that initial premise, but it nonetheless owes its existence to Jonathan’s idea and encouragement.
Many people read this story, and offered feedback on it afterwards, which undoubtedly made it a stronger piece. A few months ago, I read from it during a visit to Brown University. Today, it was accepted for publication by a magazine I really like and admire, Third Coast. I can’t wait to see it in their pages! Huge thanks to everyone who had a hand in improving “Daredevils” along the way.
I was thrilled to recently find out that my story collection manuscript, A Kind of Solitude, is a finalist for the Autumn House Press Fiction Contest. I’m a big fan of the press, and I recognize a few of the names on the finalists’ list, so I’m very excited to be included.
Big thanks to everyone who has helped me with this collection along the way! I hope to find a home for it soon.
A few years ago, I read a fake news report that a giraffe had been stolen from Cuba’s National Zoo. I was, of course, somewhat disappointed that the story turned out to be false, but then I thought, “What if?” So I wrote a short story about it, which ended up dealing with friendship, race, American influence on Cuba, and animal cruelty. Today, that story, titled “The Man From the Zoo,” was accepted for publication by The Massachusetts Review. Huge thanks go out to Alina Collazo, Artem Derkatch, Shubha Sunder, and Ralph Rodriguez for their feedback and enthusiasm, which undoubtedly made this story better and encouraged me to send it out!