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Are We Ever Our Own (Paperback)

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Are We Ever Our Own By Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

In this surrealist collection of short stories, Fuentes takes us on an odyssey through multiple generations, geographies, and spiritual dimensions. Following different women who all share a common lineage, these stories grapple with themes of corporeal violence, complex identities, and the meaning of being alive in a world of ghosts. With a voice reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez and Federico García Lorca, this is a tapestry worth unraveling, though it may unravel you in the process. 

— Holly V.


Moving between Cuba and the U.S., the stories in Are We Ever Our Own trace the paths of the women of the far-flung Armando Castell family.

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?

About the Author

Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes is the author of Are We Ever Our Own, winner of the BOA Short Fiction Prize, and the novel The Sleeping World (Touchstone-Simon & Schuster, 2016). She has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Willapa Bay Artists in Residency, Yaddo, the Millay Colony, Lighthouse Works, and the Blue Mountain Center. Her work has appeared in New England Review, The Common, One Story, Cosmonauts Avenue, Slice, Pank, NANO Fiction, Western Humanities Review, and elsewhere. She holds a BA from Brown University, an MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. She grew up in a Cuban-Irish-American family in Wisconsin. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland where she teaches creative writing and Latinx literature

Product Details
ISBN: 9781950774616
ISBN-10: 1950774619
Publisher: BOA Editions
Publication Date: May 24th, 2022
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: American Reader