Essays & Criticism

Book Review: Chantel Acevedo’s THE DISTANT MARVELS

Christopher’s book review of The Distant Marvels from author Chantel Acevedo, appears in The Brooklyn Rail.

From the Europa Editions website: “The story of a lifetime told in the eye of a hurricane. Maria Sirena tells stories. She does it for money—she was a favorite in the cigar factory where she worked as a lettora—and for love, spinning gossamer tales out of her own past for the benefit of friends and family. But now, like a modern-day Scheherazade, she will be asked to tell a story so that eight women can keep both hope and themselves alive.”

Here is the opening of the review:

In 1963, a storm approaches Cuba, and an elderly woman named María Sirena knows that it is coming. She sees the “ferocious churn of the sky, like a black mouth opening and closing.” This mouth-storm tells stories—but bigger than stories. The storm is “bigger than all of Cuba.” There is talk that this storm over Haiti had wrenched away the sea to reveal a sunken ship, and then dropped the sea back onto it. For María Sirena, the storm tells us these stories. It reveals things that we have done.

Click here to read the full review at The Brooklyn Rail.

Click here to visit the publisher’s website, Europa Editions.