Puerto Rican writer Lourdes Vázquez has just published a second (revised) edition of her novel Sin ti no soy yo (El Gallo Rojo, 2012). The cover and book format were designed by Edna Isabel Acosta. This novel was previously published by Ediciones Puerto in 2005; it was also recently published in English by Bilingual Review Press as Not Myself without You (2012) [see previous post New Book: Lourdes Vázquez’s “Not Myself without You”].
Description: Sin ti no soy yo is about an extended family that moves around a spiritualist church and a bewitched neighborhood as seen and described by a young, female omnipresent narrator. This girl narrates two decades of personal stories that intertwine with a collusion of potions, spells, and spiritual instruction. The characters, whose central space is in Puerto Rico, travel through the Caribbean, New York City, and Madrid, pulled by the social and political circumstances of the moment but, above all, by an immense love of life.
Upon its first edition, Alejandra Villasmil (EFE) wrote: “In her latest novel Sin ti no soy yo, Puerto Rican writer Lourdes Vázquez recalls with humor and nerve family memories in the Puerto Rico of the forties and fifties.” Interviewed by Villasmil, Váquez stated, “This book is an autobiography, a family story that pays homage to my great aunts, vanguard women, even when they were in their nineties.” [. . .] It was after the strong impact of her aunts’ almost simultaneous deaths that Vázquez decided to write the novel, which begins precisely with the recounting of that episode. The author said, “I was impressed that one of them died one day in Miami and the other the next day in Puerto Rico. It is as if one had dragged the other away. Moreover, in their wills, they requested that their ashes be scattered in New York’s Central Park.”
Críticas (Library Journal) also observed, “At the end of this her first novel, Vázquez poetically describes the fragmented and hallucinatory nature of memory. It is perhaps this vision of memory that distinguishes this Puerto Rican family saga from similar contemporary Latin American novels.”
For more information (in Spanish), see