The Sad Passions

Overview

Told by six women in one family, Veronica Gonzalez Pena's The SadPassions captures the alertness, beauty, and terror of childhood lived in proximity to madness. Set against the backdrop of a colonial past, spanning three generations, and shuttling fromMexico City to Oaxaca to the North Fork of Long Island to Veracruz, The Sad Passionsis the lyrical story of a middle-class Mexican family torn apart by the undiagnosed mental illness of Claudia, a lost child of the 1960s and the ...

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Overview

Told by six women in one family, Veronica Gonzalez Pena's The SadPassions captures the alertness, beauty, and terror of childhood lived in proximity to madness. Set against the backdrop of a colonial past, spanning three generations, and shuttling fromMexico City to Oaxaca to the North Fork of Long Island to Veracruz, The Sad Passionsis the lyrical story of a middle-class Mexican family torn apart by the undiagnosed mental illness of Claudia, a lost child of the 1960s and the mother of four little girls.

It is 1960, and the wild and impulsive sixteen-year-old Claudia elopes from her comfortable family home in Mexico City with Miguel, a seductive drifter who will remain her wandering husband for the next twenty years. Hitchhiking across the United States with Miguel,sometimes spending the night in jails, Claudia stops sleeping and begins seeing visions. Abandoned at a small clinic in Texas, she receives electroshock treatment while seven months pregnant with her first daughter. Afterward, Miguel leaves her, dumb and drooling, at her mother's doorstep.

Living more often at her mother's home than with Miguel, Claudia will give birth to four girls. But when Julia, her second daughter, is inexplicably given away to a distant relation in Los Angeles, Claudia's fragile, uncertain state comes to affect everyone around her. Julia's disappearance — which could symbolize the destabilizing effect of manic depression —will become the organizing myth in all of the daughters' unsettled lives; for if one can disappear,why not all of them?

Semiotext(e)

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Editorial Reviews

<i>Los Angeles Times</i> - Margaret Wappler
For all of the effects of erasure and absence on The Sad Passions,the narration is incredibly present, crawling on the page in spidery, sprawling observations,setting up pools and lairs that lure a reader in.
<i>The Los Angeles Review of Books</i> - Lisa Locascio
The Sad Passions, Veronica Gonzalez Peña's extraordinary novel of desire, loss, and matrilineal history, explodes the teenage pregnancy script through its unflinching plumbing of the bond between mother and daughter. The Sad Passions begins with a story we think we know, and then shows us how little any of us understand: about our ancestors, our parents, ourselves.
California Literary Review - George Porcari
An exquisite and moving panorama of late 20th century life in Mexico and theUS.
HTML Giant - Saehee Cho
I like the way the [cover] image moves with this novel, the way the absence becomes the presence. Veronica Gonzalez Peña does not write absence as a form of lack, her absence froths and grows agitated, it fills up the page with pulsing need.
From the Publisher
"For all of the effects of erasure and absence on The SadPassions, the narration is incredibly present, crawling on the page in spidery, sprawling observations, setting up pools and lairs that lure a reader in." — Margaret Wappler, LosAngeles Times

Semiotext(e)

" The Sad Passions, Veronica Gonzalez Peña's extraordinary novel of desire, loss, and matrilineal history, explodes the teenage pregnancy script through its unflinching plumbing of the bond between mother and daughter. The Sad Passionsbegins with a story we think we know, and then shows us how little any of us understand: about our ancestors, our parents, ourselves." — Lisa Locascio, The Los AngelesReview of Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584351207
  • Publisher: Semiotexte/Smart Art
  • Publication date: 5/31/2013
  • Series: Semiotext(e) / Native Agents
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 787,247
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Veronica Gonzalez Pena is the author of twin time: or, how death befell me,which won the Premio Aztlán Literary Prize in 2007. She is also the founder of rockypoint Press,which produces a series of artist-writer collaborations.

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