Sabrina & Corina: Storiesby Published 02 Apr 2019
|Sabrina & Corina: Stories.pdf|
A haunting debut story collection on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands, centered on Latinas of indigenous ancestry that shines a new light on the American West.
Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit. Set against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado–a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite–these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.
In “Sugar Babies,” ancestry and heritage are hidden inside the earth but tend to rise during land disputes. “Any Further West” follows a sex worker and her daughter as they leave their ancestral home in southern Colorado only to find a foreign and hostile land in California. In “Tomi,” a woman leaves prison and finds herself in a gentrified city that is a shadow of the one she remembers from her childhood. And in the title story, “Sabrina & Corina,” a Denver family falls into a cycle of violence against women, coming together only through ritual.
Sabrina & Corina is a moving narrative of unrelenting feminine power and an exploration of the universal experiences of abandonment, heritage, and an eternal sense of home.
Sabrina & Corina: Stories Reviews
This short story collection about Indigenous Latina women living in Colorado and bound by family, tradition, trauma, mental illness, and a lot of death. It was a good book, and it touched on a lot of important topics. I appreciated the way that absence and abandonment was explored in so many narratives. The common experiences of the various women felt real and connected. Family loomed large in this book. It was palpable. But. The format. I felt with every new story, that I had to start over getting familiar with everyone again, despite the common themes in this book. I wish, so much, that this book had been a novel about various women in the family living their lives around the tragedy in the title story. I wish we could have come to know them all and their stories and histories in relationship to this central loss. I wanted an epic story of a spread out family and all of the common ties and differences that shaped their relationship to this particular loss; I wanted to see their resilience and their traumas shape their reactions. I wanted a very very long novel. There were excellent seeds here. I’m excited to see more from the author. Thank you netgalley for the ARC L, opinions are my own.
I love the cover art. It's gorgeous and eye catching. This collection of short stories, Sabrina and Corina, centers around female Latina culture in Colorado. The stories are both hopeful and sad. Every story is thought provoking. It's an interesting read that's different from most short story collections. It's a good read overall.
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine is a collection of short stories based around Latinas of Indigenous descent living in Western America. My absolute favorites of the bunch are "Sisters," "Cheesman Park," "Tomi," & "Any Further West."
Each of these stories has a sense of absence, a sense abandonment. The various bittersweet relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, women and their male counterparts, women and other women are very much explored with care. It keeps you attached to the snippets of the lives we jump into for just a few minutes.
I absolutely adored the thought-provoking character study, the character work that was done to bring the lives of these women to reality. There is such unique and divine quality surrounding them, Faji's voice is beautiful and her descriptions of Latin American culture are poignant. You have to slow down and truly take these stories in, take in the way Faji uses language to coat the pages of her collection in a fine mist of dazzling truth and magic.
There are strong and compelling survivors that live through cycles of violence acted upon their bodies, their culture, their lands. A lot of the narrative is very bleak and dark at times, though. It helps to slow down two-fold because then you aren't as heavy-hearted reading this collection in just one sitting but also when Faji brings in the light, you can find some hope through her utter honesty.
Indigenous women are missing or dead. There is violence enacted upon the woman body at every turn and yet nobody says a word at the physical evidence of that fact. Two of my five star short stories in this collection: "Sisters" and "Cheesman Park" actually have similar discussions on the way that battered or "bruised" women are not seen.
Faji truly does not pull her punches in exploring the harsh realities of not only womanhood but being of Indigenous descent and being other. This collection is out in this world now and honestly, recommend to get yourself a copy.
Sabrina & Corina is an impressive collection of short stories. Though the stories show considerable range and depth, there are consistent themes of abandonment, family, culture and belonging that thread the stories together quite beautifully. Mental illness and familial/domestic violence also features prominently in many of the stories. Even more so, there is a thread of a quiet sort of melancholy through the stories that binds them to one another. Fajardo-Anstine is a talented writer, and the subjects here - latinas of indigenous/native ancestry - are so important. However, this was not a five star read for me, mostly because although I was impressed with the stories and wanted to connect to them, I just didn't quite get there. I never became fully immersed in the stories (save for a select few) or characters (again, except for a select few). However, I did find this collection to be incredibly well written as well as thought provoking overall.
There is a depth of sadness in these stories, lightened at times by connections with others or by a slight acknowledgement or recognition that maybe there is a way forward. Children, mostly young girls, being left behind by their mothers and sometimes their fathers by death, by being left willfully, or by abandonment even before they have left is a recurring theme in a number of these stories. They all take place in or around Denver, Colorado where Latina women struggle with physical violence, drugs, financial problems, and loss. One of the most affecting stories is “Julian Plaza” where two young girls are dealing with their mother’s illness as she is dying of cancer and the family struggles to care for her. “Tomi” is another that I found especially moving, one with a glimmer of hope where an eight year old boy connects with his ex-con aunt who is trying to find her own way, after his mother leaves. I can’t say I enjoyed all of the stories equally. At the end of a few I was left hanging and didn’t feel there was any closure for the characters, but mainly not for me. However, the majority of the stories are well written, thought provoking and emotionally captivating.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley.