What’s On Our Nightstands: El libro de las imaginadas


Sofía Irene Cardona’s El libro de las imaginadas is as hard to describe as it is difficult to adequately translate its title. If one translated the title as The Book of the Imagined Ones or The Book of the Imagined Women, it would not be complete, as “imaginadas” could also refer to imagined objects, situations, stories, and places.  This collection of short stories is at the same time a jewel in its simplicity and straightforwardness and a richly insightful study of narration, narrators, and what/who is narrated. Through three main characters – the narrator, n, and Eva – Cardona leads us through the wonderful but perilous routes and pitfalls of the task of writing.

This outstanding collection proposes a meditation on the difficulties of writing and the act of creating a work of art out of the events of daily lived experience. As writer Vanesa Vilches Norat describes, Cardona has been able to tease out the good stories that are hidden in the midst of what may seem to be inconsequential, urban, everyday life, “la nimia cotidianidad urbana.” She does not hesitate, of course, to point out the profound richness of Cardona’s painstakingly and deceptively simple stories.  Says Vilches, “Las imaginadas are stories that pulsate within daily routine, behind the windows and doors of domestic spaces, in the office, the elevator, the library, the car, the hospital, the funeral home, in sum, in all those places of refuge in our existence.”

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1962, Sofía Irene Cardona has been writing from a young age. Her work includes the poetry collection La habitación oscura [The Dark Room (2006), the short story collection El libro de las imaginadas (2008), columns in newspapers such as Claridad and El Nuevo Día, and regular contributions to the writers’ blog Fuera del Quicio (with Aurora Lauzardo, Mari Mari Narváez, Ana Teresa Pérez-Leroux, and Vanessa Vilches Norat). Fuera del quicio is also the title of  a book based on the columns, commentaries, and essays, written  by Cardona, Narváez, and Vilches Norat (Grupo Santillana, 2008).

The front cover image (included here) features the aptly evocative painting, Dulcinea (2005), by Antonio Martorell (also see What’s On Our Nightstands: Martorell, La aventura de la creación, March21, 2009).

For Fuera del quicio blog, see http://fueradelquicio.blogspot.com/2009/03/las-hortensias-en-nueva-york.html

For ordering information, see http://www.laeditorialupr.com/latiendita/p-907-el-libro-de-las-imaginadas.aspx

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