Thursday, June 5, 2014
homicide survivors picnic: and other stories by Lorraine M. Lopez
If you are a fan of short stories and Latina/o fiction, then you will LOVE this book. Lorraine Lopez has written ten fantastic short stories exploring some very real life problems - alcoholism, domestic violence, mental issues, incarcerated family members, displaced children, etc. Her main focus is on family relationships and the ways in which various situations wreak havoc on the family dynamic. Her writing is rich, detailed, and honest. You can feel the thought and emotion put into each character. Lopez writes with such an authenticity, that you feel as if you are reading chapters in biographies, instead of fictionalized realities. I absolutely loved this collection of short stories - of course, I'm partial to this work because I LOVED Lopez' other book of short stories, Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories. My favorites stories in this book were: The Flood - dealt with a woman taking on the care for her incarcerated cousin's four-year-old daughter; Batterers - a woman shares her story of abuse at a support group for batterers; Human Services - a woman realizes that her ex-husband who abused her is no longer her problem after she indirectly puts him in the hospital; Women Speak - a teacher at a Women's College learns that a person's looks does not reflect their aspirations; and The Landscape - (a conclusion of The Flood) the daughter is returned with her mom and the cousin is heartbroken after caring for the little girl for more than a year. These stories were AMAZING and left me filled with so many thoughts and emotions. I found myself wondering why I hadn't read this book sooner. In fact, I started to wonder why I haven't read any of my Chicana/o fiction books in ages. Seems like I need to really take a closer look at my bookshelves and see what I've been missing.