Related but unknown to each other, these women are exiles, immigrants, artists, outsiders, all in search of a sense of self and belonging. The owner of a professional mourning service investigates the disappearance of her employees. On the eve of the Cuban revolution, a young woman breaks into the mansion where she was once a servant to help the rebels and free herself. A musician in a traveling troupe recounts the last day she saw her father.
Linked by theme and complex familial bonds, these stories shift across genres and forms to excavate the violence wreaked on women’s bodies and document the attempt to create something meaningful in the face of loss. They ask: who do we belong to? What, if anything, belongs to us?
Are We Ever Our Own is a cabinet of wonders filled with uncanny intersections between the mythic and the daily, the spectral and the earthed…. Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes writes with marvelous insight into how the untold stories of the past can continue to haunt the present, and crafts structures that delight and devastate in equal measure—that feel as immense as time itself.”
—Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears and The Third Hotel
"Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes writes with the poetic fierceness of Lorca, exploring multiple subjectivities in this lyrical story collection on love and art, loss and violence. Fuentes is a poignant and powerful voice in Latinx literature—and beyond.”
—Patricia Park, author of Re Jane
“Are We Ever Our Own reads like an arpeggio: the individual stories strike clear, distinctive notes that, when abutted, come together into a rich, resonant chord. From contemporary Marfa, Texas to revolutionary Cuba, from literal ghosts to implicit ones, the characters are entirely singular and individually rewarding, yet somehow—as the title suggests—somehow feel quietly present in each subsequent narrative. Though spirits and spells indeed appear in these pages, Fuentes doesn't simply write about magic in this collection; she's created it.”
—Xhenet Aliu, author of Brass and Domesticated Wild Things, and Other Stories
"The stories in Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes’ Are We Ever Our Own will haunt readers long after they’ve finished. And perhaps that’s the point. Inventive, hallucinatory, chilling, and globe-spanning, this collection commands attention."
—Chantel Acevedo, author of The Distant Marvels
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 2022