Sabrina & Corina
Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s debut story collection, Sabrina & Corina, centers the stories of Latinas of Indigenous descent. The book was described as “a moving narrative of unrelenting feminine power and an exploration of the universal experiences of abandonment, heritage, and an eternal sense of home,” and honestly, it delivered.
The collection opens with lyrics from Bob Dylan’s “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”: with your childhood flames on your midnight rug / and your Spanish manners and your mother’s drugs / and your cowboy mouth and your curfew plugs / who among them do you think could resist you? / sad-eyed lady of the lowlands. And it is an apt framing. The eleven stories circle around themes of mothers and daughters, sisters, abusive men, Indigenous women, gentrification, and more.
I love reading blurbs from other writers, and Julia Alvarez’s blurb for Sabrina & Corina is honestly spectacular. It ends “Comparisons came to mind: the Alice Munro of the high plains, the Toni Morrison of indigenous Latinas—but why compare her to anybody? She is her own unique voice, and her work will easily find a place, not just in Latinx literature but in American literature and beyond.”
The power of Sabrina & Corina was Fajardo'-Anstine’s ability to transport you into the landscape of each story. Even if you know nothing about the world and cultures she is writing about (Indigenous women in the American West), you are able to fully immerse yourself in the story. They were self-contained narratives, with characters who felt so real, that you didn’t want to stop reading.
All-in-all, a fantastic story collection.
Get it here: https://amzn.to/2IVHHJY