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In Lucho,” Sabina’s family-already foreigners in a town of blancos”-is shunned by the community when a relative commits an unspeakable act of violence, but she is in turn befriended by the town bad boy who has a secret of his own; in Desaliento,” Sabina surrounds herself with other young drifters who spend their time looking for love and then fleeing from it-until reality catches up with one of them; and in Vida,” the urgency of Sabina’s self-imposed exile in Miami fades when she meets an enigmatic Colombian woman with a tragic past.
Patricia Engel maps landscapes both actual and interior in this stunning debut, and the constant throughout is Sabina-serious, witty, alternately cautious and reckless, open to transformation yet skeptical of its lasting power. Infused by a hard-won, edgy wisdom, Vida introduces a sensational new literary voice.
- Grove/Atlantic, Inc., September 2010
Grove Press, Black Cat
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