Poetry. Fiction. Hybrid Genre. Translated by Alexandra Lytton Regalado. A "delicate tracery" weaving between poems and short stories, the sixteen pieces that compose FAMILY OR OBLIVION are what Elena Salamanca defines as "filigrees." This "polished and piercing" collection holds multitudes of women: girls, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, saints, brides, and widows—women who starve themselves, who gorge themselves, women who bury or are buried, who cage birds and are the birds themselves, women who are full of forgetfulness, women who are so empty they levitate. These women thread needles, they unravel knots, they knit and embroider these filigrees that speak to us about life in this unnamed city, about memory and oblivion, about the longing and emptiness that hems these characters in. Though Salamanca prefers to leave the threads of her storylines untied, these filigrees, as she explains, "can be read between the lines" and like Teresa, who "continued to float until she reached the ceiling. With no possibility of descending" readers of this book will find that Salamanca's images will also linger in their imaginations for days on end.
Elena Salamanca (San Salvador, 1982) is a writer and historian. She has published Peces en la boca (Mexico, 2013 and San Salvador, 2011), Landsmoder (San Salvador, 2012) and Último viernes (San Salvador, 2008). Her work has been translated into English, French, German and Swedish. In 2012, she founded, along with the artist Nadie, the Eclectic Festival of Arts FEA that brings together the work of Salvadoran and Central American artists with peculiar voices and processes. She is a Doctorate candidate in History at the Colegio de México and her thesis investigates the relationship between Central American unionism, citizenship and exile in Mexico in the 1930s and 1940s. Her current events essays are featured in the Centroamérica María column of Plaza Pública Guatemala and between 2014 and 2016 her short essays appeared in the Landsmoder blog of the Salvadoran digital newspaper El Faro.Author City: SAN SALVADOR ELS