The Sad Passions

The Sad Passions

by Veronica Gonzalez Peña

Paperback

$17.95
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Overview

The lyrical story of a Mexican family torn apart by the fragility and madness of one of its members.

Told by six women in one family, Veronica Gonzalez Pena's The Sad Passions 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 from Mexico City to Oaxaca to the North Fork of Long Island to Veracruz, The Sad Passions is 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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781584351207
Publisher: Semiotexte/Smart Art
Publication date: 05/17/2013
Series: Semiotext(e) / Native Agents
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

What People are Saying About This

Endorsement

Five women, including a mother and her now grown daughter, Julia, who was discarded when she was young, narrate this novel of fractured family, selves, and hearts, which gently mesmerizes with its rhythmic prose, and the emotionally rich and complex strategies each woman employs in telling her story. A beautiful and moving choral tale of isolation, love, damage, and intimate struggles. Its many landscapes, especially Mexico City, sing too.

Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name: A Novel

Michelle Huneven

In Veronica Gonzalez's truthtelling novel of four bright sisters growing up with a mentally ill mother, the lucid, elegant writing defies the very havoc it describes. Built of multiple voices, with curious, haunting photographs, The Sad Passions is immersive, harrowing, and wonderfully intelligent.

From the Publisher

"In Veronica Gonzalez-Peña's The Sad Passions, four sisters,daughters of a mad mother, devoted to her and afraid of her, tell their versions of a tortured family romance. The sisters' and mother's raw, impassioned voices are intricately interwoven, and,Rashomon-like, the novel speaks of familial love's strange demands, harsh effects, and lasting ties.

Veronica Gonzalez Peña's The Sad Passions is honest and riveting." —Lynne Tillman

Semiotext(e)

"In Veronica Gonzalez's truthtelling novel of four bright sisters growing up with a mentally ill mother, the lucid, elegant writing defies the very havoc it describes. Built of multiple voices, with curious, haunting photographs, The Sad Passions is immersive, harrowing, and wonderfully intelligent." — Michelle Huneven, author of Blame

Semiotext(e)

"Five women, including a mother and her now grown daughter, Julia, who was discarded when she was young, narrate this novel of fractured family, selves, and hearts, which gently mesmerizes with its rhythmic prose, and the emotionally rich and complex strategies each woman employs in telling her story. A beautiful and moving choral tale of isolation, love, damage, and intimate struggles. Its many landscapes, especially Mexico City, sing too." — FranciscoGoldman, author of Say Her Name: A Novel

Semiotext(e)

Lynne Tillman

In Veronica Gonzalez-Peña's The Sad Passions, four sisters, daughters of a mad mother, devoted to her and afraid of her, tell their versions of a tortured family romance. The sisters' and mother's raw, impassioned voices are intricately interwoven, and, Rashomon-like, the novel speaks of familial love's strange demands, harsh effects, and lasting ties. Veronica Gonzalez Peña's The Sad Passions is honest and riveting.

Francisco Goldman

Five women, including a mother and her now grown daughter, Julia, who was discarded when she was young, narrate this novel of fractured family, selves, and hearts, which gently mesmerizes with its rhythmic prose, and the emotionally rich and complex strategies each woman employs in telling her story. A beautiful and moving choral tale of isolation, love, damage, and intimate struggles. Its many landscapes, especially Mexico City, sing too.

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