Outside the Bones

Outside the Bones

by Lyn Di Iorio


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Outside the Bones by Lyn Di Iorio

Fina is a big girl with a big mouth. She's the neighborhood"spirit worker," casting spells for her neighbors in Manhattan's Upper West Side. She can't believe it, though, when she puts an accidental fufú—or spell—on Chico, the irresistible trumpet player who lives upstairs.

Chico recovers just as two women from his past turn up: his former beauty-queen lover and an attractive young woman claiming to be his long-dead daughter. Fina is not pleased. So she visits her mentor, Tata Victor Tumba Fuego, Master of Fire. He specializes in Palo Monte, the Afro-Caribbean magical art of controlling and manipulating spirits housed in cauldrons. All too soon she finds herself involved with a spirit whose quest for revenge can't be stopped.

Weaving Afro-Caribbean witchcraft rituals with the sixteen-year-old mystery of a woman's disappearance, Outside the Bones is an erotically charged ghost story set in both present-day New York and Puerto Rico. Following in the tradition of Anne Rice, Lyn Di Iorio's brilliant debut novel takes a mesmerizing look at issues of race, class, power and greed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558857032
Publisher: Arte Publico Press
Publication date: 09/28/2011
Pages: 199
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are Saying About This

Marie-Elena John

In the entertainingly loud and street-toughened voice of a Nuyorican 'big girl,' Lyn Di Iorio's readers first believe that they're following the erotic detailing of an old murder mystery, only to find themselves on a journey stretching from Manhattan's Upper West Side through Central Park to a place in Puerto Rico where river and sea meet, where a body burned and where the bones have yet to find peace. A fresh and original approach to fiction grounded in Afro-Caribbean spirituality. (Marie-Elena John, author of Unburnable)

Ernesto Quinonez

Utilizing rhythmic prose and enchanting humor, Lyn Di Iorio has written a brilliant love story full of magical urbanism that is sure to make Outside the Bones a modern-day classic. (Ernesto Quiñonez, author of Chango's Fire and Bodega Dreams)

Cristina Garcia

Come meet Fina, the irrepressible, hilarious, tough-talking heroine of Lyn Di Iorio's delightful first novel, Outside the Bones. Written with humor and verve, no small amount of magic and the sassy supernatural, this no-holds barred story will grab you by the lapels and not let you go. (Cristina García, author of The Lady Matador's Hotel)

Catherine E. McKinley

Toni Morrison meets Alexander McCall Smith on Manhattan's Upper West Side in this brilliant tale of ghosting and rescue by Di Iorio's unlikely heroine. Driven by raw humor, a wonderful eroticism and a laser ear, the author listens in on Fina's world and shares observations as powerful as the noise from the cauldron. (Catherine E. McKinley, author of Indigo: In Search of the Color that Seduced the World)

Darcey Steinke

Fina, the narrator of Outside the Bones, is both raw and delicate, a particularly entertaining variation of the id writ large. Di Iorio's observations skills are potent and poetic. A moving and entertaining read. (Darcey Steinke, author of Suicide Blonde)

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Outside the Bones 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
MissMissy1981 More than 1 year ago
Okay, y'all, let's just be honest here. I've now read this book at least three times, and each time it just gets better and better. Lyn Di Iorio's debut novel is smart, funny, sexy, scary, and ultimately, important. Outside the Bones is the tale of Fina Mata, a Nuyorican bruja who opens the door to a years old mystery when she puts a fufu on a local musician. With this kind of book, I am loathe to reveal too much. Spoilers could ruin the experience for you, so I won't bother saying, you know, "Voldemort dies at the end" or anything. I'll just say the book is an effing fantastic journey, and you won't soon forget it. I'm compelled, here, to write a paragraph on how this book fits into the canon of postcolonial literature, and I am certain it will find its home there, but Outside the Bones is much more than an academic exercise. It's fun and creepy and a lot more universal than the synopsis would have you believe. The urge that leads Fina to put that fufu on Chico is one that is universal to all of us. Wish fulfillment and the disaster its attempts usually bring are the stuff of great literature. When we try to find the shortcuts to our happiness, we often end up facing ourselves and our pasts, and Fina is no different. At its heart, Outside the Bones is about the connectedness we experience or desire. Fina wants to attach herself to Chico, but her fufu actually reveals the connection she has to a past that's much richer and darker than she knows. To say that Di Iorio's novel is educational to those outside the culture is reductive and essentialist--but not entirely untrue. The great thing about that education is that it's an immersion and not a surface-level look at a culture. Di Iorio's discussion of Palo Monte is rich and realistic--even in its magic. I am certain what I've given you here is a limited discussion of all you'll find in Outside the Bones, so I encourage to pick it up and see what it has to offer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Being a Spanish Harlem resident, you can find yourself relating to this book
LcastilloLC More than 1 year ago
Lyn Di Iorio¿s debut novel, Outside the Bones, is a brilliant literary achievement that places her in an elite group of Latino writers who posses a distinctive voice bursting with verve, humor, lyricism and originality. Fina, the narrator-protagonist of Outside the Bones, is a feisty East Harlem Latina willing to do anything to capture the heart of Chico, a Puerto Rican mujeriego trumpet player with a dark past. Known as the neighborhood bruja for working little trabajitos and fufús, Fina delves even deeper into the world of the supernatural when she seeks the help of Tata Victor, a palero who specializes in Palo Monte, to assist her in her plan to seduce Chico. But unfortunately, Fina¿s plan of seduction takes an unexpected turn when she is possessed by a spirit who is out for blood. Taking us from New York to the island of Puerto Rico and back again, Outside the Bones, takes us on a magical journey from which we emerge, as if from a spell cast by Di Iorio and her storytelling prowess, fully convinced of the power of the novel.
DarkAngel11 More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing: the main character, Fina, is tough in a hilarious and over-the-top way, yet also really big-hearted and winning. The settings are mysterious and creepy and gothic and there are many great characters besides Fina. My favorite of all, however, is the ghost whose story is really at the base of the plot. I loved the melancholy of her story and her drive to know who had murdered her. I heard somewhere that Lyn Di Iorio is like a Latina Anne Rice, but to that I¿d add she¿s a FUNNY Anne Rice. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written book with a captivating story that draws you in from the beginning until the end. Good plot development that crossed between the mainland and the island of Puerto Rico. Really cool progression of Fina's character which is done in an entertaining, witty way that incorporates witch craft. Highly recommend.