Archive for the ‘Kali Fajardo-Anstine’ Tag

Latina Connections   Leave a comment

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The collection of short stories comprising Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine are lush in their details. The related narratives focus on Latina characters set mostly in Colorado, largely in Denver. Family traditions, gentrification, addiction, abuse and hope figure in most of the stories.

The author creates a vibrant, albeit struggling, community. It comes as no surprise that a character’s name surfaces more than once. An aunt casually mentioned in one story is the focus of another.

The title is one of 11 tales and among the most poignant. Sabrina and Corina are cousins who were close as children but, as they got older, grew apart. On the surface there are easy answers such as Sabrina’s beauty, an absent father or access to drugs. Yet, it’s more complicated as Corina reflects on the relationship with her cousin through the years and the choices each made – or was made for them.

“Julian Plaza” is another stand-out. A mother diagnosed with cancer is sent to live in a private home while her two young daughters and their father attempt to continue their usual routines. The father is a custodian at a senior care center, Julian Plaza. Cora, the older sister, knows her father sells goods stolen from people who die at the center to pay for their mother’s care. What’s most striking about this story is the optimism that builds like a roller coaster when their girls attempt to bring their mom home. Of course, there’s always a downside to those rides.

Sabrina & Corina
Four Bookmarks
One World. 2019
212 pages