New Release: Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Sometimes a persons unhappiness can make them forget they are part of something bigger, something like a family, a people, a tribe.

Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

It’s early in the year, but I’m prepared to say that this might be one of my favorite reads of 2019. Sabrina & Corina is a collection of eleven short stories about Latin American women of Indigenous descent in Denver and southern Colorado. In each of these skillfully written tales, Fajardo-Anstine bears witness to the lives of these women that both reflect the normalcy—the Americanness—of their lives, as well as the means of their intergenerational survival and perseverance. 

A word I would use to describe her style is organic—in that the stories were unique and rooted in earthy reality. I was especially blown away by the title story “Sabrina & Corina,” as well as “Sugar Babies,” “Sisters,” well . . . all of them were a joy to read. I expect to see one of these in an American Lit class in the future and can’t wait to read a full novel by her one day. 

Thank you NetGalley, One World Books, and Random House for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Sabrina & Corina published on April 2, 2019.

Check out these reviews from Instagram that I loved:

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There are times when we open a book and its undiscovered terrain. The social construct we live in doesn't always apply to the story we are entering so we have to come in with an open mind. In this book, Kali Fajardo-Anstine takes certain elements and amplifies it to the point were we grow weary of the terror, the evil, and all of the harm done against the women that we encounter. I think it was meant to be written that way. Sometimes the stories and the settings are the same but the impact they have on you are still striking. To see the same violence over and over again, the cycle can either infuriate you to action or numb you. I think she meant for the reader to feel this. I think she wanted certain aspects of the world we live in amplified and mirrored in such a way that we didn't lose sight of them. We often get muddled through with fogs and mists that are put in the way to draw focus away from the bigger picture. She wants us to confront this, to get tired of the gentrification, of the violence against women, of white men using them as commodities, as exotic objects that they can use to immortalize their name, to perpetuate their violence while still feeling superior, to continue the colonization of the land but now through the women. It's an amazing read. She doesn't mince words. Sometimes the worst harm is done through family that ask well "what did you expect"? Family that is supposed to be there for you but can't be there for themselves so you have to either sink with them or let them go. It's just provocative and offers a different perspective into the lives of indigenous Latina women. The cycle of violence that follows generations and the chains between the stories were wonderfully crafted. You see parallels between the stories that guide how the story impacts you. I think this repetition of the same violence amplifies your indignation against colonization. The prose hits you in a way that just makes the story hurt and leave behind a bruise as a reminder of the violence. The violence that we should be furious at and the people that continue to perpetuate it. Just a five star read overall. #latinxlit #idleutopiareadsreviews #diversifybookstagram

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“Sometimes a persons unhappiness can make them forget they are a part of something bigger, something like a family, a people, a tribe.” . . Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine is a debut collection that absolutely blew me away. Every story is about Latino women in Colorado, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, cousins, and best friends, these are the women that fill these pages and stories with so much heart, grief, loss, and hope. I devoured this collection of 11 short stories in 1 day and was so refreshed reading about Latino culture and their people without it being stories of immigrants in America, all of these characters were just Latino Americans living their lives, it’s not something you ever really get to witness and I think that aspect is what caught me the most about the content. The writing was so eloquent and descriptive, every scene Fajardo-Anstine perfectly painted the picture of landscapes, cities, all the way down to a families kitchen. I also got the pleasure of speaking with her yesterday about the book and she is such a nice woman and had was so appreciative of the support of reading her book, such a personable humbled writer. This book comes out April 2nd and it is a MUST read for anyone and everyone, I beg you to branch out if you aren’t normally a reader of POC because that is the only way you’ll learn about other cultures. We are all the same, we all feel heartbreak, and we all experience loss and love, these stories show you how real every emotion is and how everyone no matter where you come from or the color of your skin experiences them with the same weight and lasting impressions. And finally can we just take a second to say that this cover is absolutely amazing ! ( the 3rd and 4th pictures in this post are synopsis of a few of the stories in this collection, i couldn’t review them all here!) Obviously ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

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