I’m not sure about your social media, but mine lately’s been blowing up with people talking about just how much their hometown they are. People on my feeds are so Chicago. They’re so Wingate, NC, they’re so Worcester, MA, and they’re so New York City. They’re dropping names of old hangouts and neighborhood characters. As an immigrant girl, I happen to have thought quite a bit about home. But am I so my hometown? Nah. In fact, I’m so immigrant that when I go back to the place I’m from I’m a gringa, although here I’ll never really be American. I’m so immigrant that I feel the absence of so much knowledge about my home like an ache on a missing limb. I’m so immigrant that the place that’s felt the closest to home for me since I left — New York City — is a place of countless diasporas and continuing displacement. I’m so immigrant that thinking about the concept of home makes my brain spin and my heart hurt.
ire’ne lara silva seems to know something about that kind of hurt. In her gorgeous collection of short stories, flesh to bone, she writes beautifully about this tenuous struggle to find home. And not just the kind of home immigrants like me long for — though certainly stories of migrations feature prominently in many of these short stories — but home in a larger sense as well. Her characters push to find themselves at home in their bodies — in sexual bodies, sick bodies, magical bodies. They struggle to find home on foreign lands, and on now colonized lands their people have lived in forever. They search for home in the body of a lover, on wet earth, in dreams, and in myths. Read More