The Region of Lost Names
Ernest is searching for a place where he can live beyond his past. His family has returned to Puerto Rico, and Ernest remains in the States, desiring only distance from his memories of childhood displacement and work, his parents’ tumultuous relationship, and his own love for Magdalene. Magdalene, too, looks to move beyond her memories as she follows Ernest’s family home, seeking resolution to her mother’s hurtful secrets, her father’s unknown identity, and her love for Ernest.
As Ernest moves through the fields of Michigan, as Magdalene traverses the jungles of Puerto Rico and the shores of the Caribbean, they discover that their dreams and identities are linked within the framework of their families and their pasts. Together, Ernest and Magdalene must come to terms with the secrets and mistakes made by the previous generation, the histories of disloyalty and abandonment, of secrecy and sorrow.
Their struggles take place in a region of lost names, where loves and memories are banished and found. Fred Arroyo writes a story in two voices, following Ernest and Magdalene by turns in prose that is elegant and lyrical. His words evoke another world lush with the scent of salt spray, the taste of mangoes, and the rush of leaves, alive with characters whose ardors and pathos are achingly real. Arroyo explores the ebb and flow between past and present and themes that are enduring. Ultimately, Ernest and Magdalene must live with more than their memories; they must rediscover the intimacies of the region of lost names.
"A haunting and beautifully written story of honor and regret." —Carla Trujillo, author of What Night Brings
"As Odyssian in its emotional journey as it is wholly original, The Region of Lost Names adds to a restoration of fire, bone and music in American Letters. Arroyo's aim is accurate, his connection dead center and deep in the heart of the location where memory is made." —H.G. Carrillo, author of Loosing My Espanish
"Arroyo gives us glimpses into a colorful, complex, world, and delves into themes of identity, loss, belonging, the impact of the past on the present. The poetic language, the sensual details, and vivid imagery add to the pleasure of reading this novel." —Nahid Rachlin, author of Persian Girls