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Book Review
By
Jose B. Gonzalez


 

Lo que trae la marea/What the Tide Brings
by
Xánath Caraza

 

Xánath Caraza, one of Latino Literature’s rising stars has composed yet another work that demonstrates her dexterity as a writer.  In the bilingual collection of short stories, Lo que trae la marea/What the Tide Brings, Caraza shows readers her skill as a poet who can tell intriguing tales.

 

The stories are a thematic mix, yet love in its passion and in its tragedy mostly takes center stage.  Characters visit each other in dreams, cities, forests, bedrooms, and many other colorful worlds, all in the name of love.  Yet none of the stories are romanticized.  Instead, pieces like “Flower in the Mist” and “Tango Again” portray love and tragedy as something that we cannot control, but rather they arrive and depart on their own, much like the people we love. 


While stories like “What the Tide Brings,” stand out for their impressive use of imagery, the one that stands out the most for its lyricism is “China Poblana.”  Throughout the tale, the opening lines are repeated: “They call me Catarina de San Juan, but that is not my real name.  That is the name they gave me, the people who baptized me to save my soul.”  And each time, these lines have an increasingly chilling effect on the reader.  The narrator, we learn, has been kidnapped, and through her tone and her language, one can see how the trauma has affected her life, forever tied to the same tragic event. 

 

Lo que trae la marea/What the Tide Brings is a welcome addition to Spanish-English, bilingual books, and Caraza is sure to be a name that we continue to hear in literary circles.  

 

 

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