Long Stories Cut Short

Fictions from the Borderlands

Frederick Luis Aldama (Author), Ana María Shua (Foreword)
Paperback ($19.95), Ebook ($19.95) Buy

Xbox videogamer cholo cyberpunks. Infants who read before they talk. Vatos locos, romancing abuelos, border crossers and border smugglers, drug kingpins, Latina motorbike riders, philosophically musing tweens, and so much more.

The stories in this dynamic bilingual prose-art collection touch on the universals of romance, family, migration and expulsion, and everyday life in all its zany configurations. Each glimpse into lives at every stage—from newborns and children to teens, young adults, and the elderly—further submerges readers in psychological ups and downs. In a world filled with racism, police brutality, poverty, and tensions between haves and have-nots, these flashes of fictional insight bring gleaming clarity to life lived where all sorts of borders meet and shift.

Frederick Luis Aldama and graphic artists from Mapache Studios give shape to ugly truths in the most honest way, creating new perceptions, thoughts, and feelings about life in the borderlands of the Américas. Each bilingual prose-art fictional snapshot offers an unsentimentally complex glimpse into what it means to exist at the margins of society today. These unflinching and often brutal fictions crisscross spiritual, emotional, and physical borders as they give voice to all those whom society chooses not to see.

“Buzzin’ from start to finish, an unexpected bilingual knock-out punch!”—Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States

“Call these stories what you will: flashes, shards, fragments, splinters. For me, this is narrative shaved to the quick—necessary and nuanced, at once urgent and pithy, as insightful as they are carefully made. Take your time with these fictions, folks. With Frederick Aldama, our borderlands, real and imagined, are in the most artful of hands.”—Lee K. Abbott, author of All Things, All at Once: New and Selected Stories
 
“Aldama stuns, surprises, and delights. This is no small feat. He is a linguistic trapeze high-wire artist and delivers verbal theatrics, the likes of which will stay in your mind and heart for a very long time.”—Denise Chávez, author of The King and Queen of Comezón
 


“These bilingual stories are the work of a confident writer, one who is not fazed by social media but influenced by it, picking up poetry from Twitter and finding unexpected pathos in Instagram selfies.”—Santa Fe New Mexican

Long Stories Cut Short reads like an invitation from a trickster figure, as if a playful conductor were giving you deliberate doses of a larger tapestry, one that can only be fully understood within the ever-expanding canvas that is the reader’s capacity to imagine, create, and believe that what they are reading has a greater significance to their understanding of the world.”—Latin@ Literatures

Long Stories Cut Short is much more than a book of very short stories; it is an encyclopedia of the borderland experience.”—Cultural Studies Leuven

“Aldama desarrolla las historias de Long Stories Cut Short, partiendo de una realidad particular hasta que ésta alcanza un carácter universal.”—La Crónica
Long Stories Cut Short
Book Read Excerpt
In Your Dreams
Mama’s already in her pajamas. Mama’s brushed her teeth. Mama bends down, nearly on all fours, making an arched shape with her back. Head up and mouth open, she plays Señor Azucar with me. Brush, brush, brushing to send him screaming to another land. Finished, I grab my favorite storybook/: Rapunzel. We jump into bed and scurry under cover. I hear Mama’sIn Your Dreams Mama’s already in her pajamas. Mama’s brushed her teeth. Mama bends down, nearly on all fours, making an arched shape with her back. Head up and mouth open, she plays Señor Azucar with me. Brush, brush, brushing to send him screaming to another land.

Finished, I grab my favorite storybook/: Rapunzel. We jump into bed and scurry under cover. I hear Mama’s voice, sounding out words. They tell me where to go in that thing Mama calls my brain. The change in Mama’s voice, and I know exactly when to turn the page.

Sleepy. Lights go out. Mama, I miss Papa. I know. You’ll see him soon.

No. I’ll see him in my dreams.

En tus sueños
Mamá ya está en pijamas. Mamá ya se cepilló los dientes. Mamá se dobla, casi a cuatro patas y con la espalda en arco. Con la cabeza arriba y la boca abierta, juega al Señor Azúcar conmigo. Me cepilla, me cepilla, me está cepillando para que él pueda irse pegando gritos a otro lugar.

Terminé, tomo mi libro de cuentos favorito/: Rapunzel. Saltamos a la cama y nos metemos entre las cobijas. Escucho la voz de mamá pronunciando algunas palabras. Me indica hacia dónde ir en aquello que mamá llama cerebro. Al cambio de voz de mamá sé exactamente cuándo dar vuelta a la página.

Dormida. Las luces se apagan, extraño a papá. Lo sé. Vas a verlo pronto.

No. Lo veré en mis sueños.

Copyright © 2017. The Arizona Board of Regents

This sample is free for reading while you are visiting our web site but is not free for other use, distribution, or download anywhere other than your web browser's cache.
 
208 Pages 5 x 7.5 Published: 2017 Paperback (9780816533978)
Ebook (9780816536115)

For Authors

The University of Arizona Press publishes the work of leading scholars from around the globe. Learn more about submitting a proposal, preparing your final manuscript, and publication.

Inquire

Requests

The University of Arizona Press is proud to share our books with booksellers, media, librarians, scholars, and instructors. Request reprint licenses, information on subsidiary rights and translations, accessibility files, review copies, and desk and exam copies.

Request

Support the Press

Support a premier publisher of academic, regional, and literary works. We are committed to sharing past, present, and future works that reflect the special strengths of the University of Arizona and support its land-grant mission.

Give