When trying to return home : stories

by McCauley, Jennifer Maritza,

Format: Print Book 2023
Availability: On Order 7 copies
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A dazzling debut collection spanning a century of Black American and Afro-Latino life in Puerto Rico, Pittsburgh, Louisiana, Miami, and beyond--and an evocative meditation on belonging, the meaning of home, and how we secure freedom on our own terms

Profoundly moving and powerful, the stories in When Trying to Return Home dig deeply into the question of belonging. A young woman is torn between overwhelming love for her mother and the need to break free from her damaging influence during a desperate and disastrous attempt to rescue her brother from foster care. A man, his wife, and his mistress each confront the borders separating love and hate, obligation and longing, on the eve of a flight to San Juan. A college student grapples with the space between chivalry and machismo in a tense encounter involving a nun. And in 1930s Louisiana, a woman attempting to find a place to call her own chances upon an old friend at a bar and must reckon with her troubled past.

Forming a web of desires and consequences that span generations, McCauley's Black American and Afro-Puerto Rican characters remind us that these voices have always been here, occupying the very center of American life--even if we haven't always been willing to listen.
When trying to return home
The missing one
Good guys
I don't know where I'm bound
Last saints
La espera
Liberation day.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "McCauley's explosive debut collection crackles with moments of honesty, upheaval, and longing among families. In "Torsion," Black Pittsburgh college student Claudia hews to an unwavering love for her volatile single mother, a hair technician who struggled to support Claudia and her younger brother Sam, who is now in foster care and needs dialysis for his renal failure. In Claudia's loyalty, she allows her mother to convince her to help take Sam from his white foster mother, so the family can be reunited. In "Trying to Return Home," Andra constantly faces questions from white people about her ethnic background and takes to answering with a mix of vagueness and specificity. At her new job in south Florida, she says her father is "Black American; her mami Cagus-born, mixed with several Something Elses." As she mourns her deceased mother, who neglected to fill her in on their family tree, McCauley offers an illuminating view of the complexity of Andra's private life. "La Espera" features multiple points of view on a messy family situation, with sisters Elena and Camila and Elena's husband, Carlos, the father of Camila's 12-year-old twin daughters. In a poignant scene, the girls are dressed in bright dresses while waiting at their house in Puerto Rico for Carlos to visit them from New York City, where he lives with Elena ("Let's impress him with your loveliness," Camila tells them). Each story is a treasure. (Feb.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects African Americans -- Fiction.
Black people -- Fiction.
African Americans.
Black people.
Short stories.
Publisher Berkeley, California :Counterpoint Press,2023
Edition First hardcover edition.
Language English
Description pages cm
ISBN 9781640095687
Other Classic View