Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories
Imprint: Curbstone Books
230 Pages, 5.50 x 8.40 in
- Published: May 2002
Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories, is a stunning debut collection of short stories that explore identity issues in the Latino community. The cast of characters in these stories include a young boy who seeks to save an abandoned baby, an elderly man attempting to invoke his dead wife by regularly donning her clothing and make-up, a former National Guardsman whose failed attempts to connect with his family do not prevent him from trying, and a young woman determined to give birth to her murdered lover's child. In the title story, an aging Avon representative, who is often mistaken for a transvestite, has become so estranged from the Spanish language she spoke as a child that she no longer remembers that she spoke it or what happened in her childhood. Many of the characters in these stories must negotiate differences in race, culture, language, class, and gender in attempts to discover who they are and where they are going. López's vivid characters struggle both to find a place of belonging and companions who can accept them, as well as self-forgiveness for the compromises they make in living necessarily bifurcated lives, as they attempt to bridge the gap between cultures.
"i was impressed with the mastery of the story-telling, the swiftness of movement, the voices, the characters—really wonderful. The characters were zingers, the dialogue sharp, the movement quick."
"What sets apart these often beautifully written stories, always scintillating with biting wit and humor, is the way Lopez subtly and skillfully twists and turns their seemingly simple plots on their heads, showing that the the line that separates the "normal" from the "bizarre" is neither as clear nor as objective as it is often assumed to be."
"López is an original, and this fine collection, which won its publisher's inaugural Miguel Marmol Prize for fiction, is a thoroughgoing delight."