Himilce Novas recently published this kind review of my book Uñas pintadas de azul/Blue Fingernails (Tempe, Ariz.: Bilingual Review Press, 2009. 344 pp.) in the Winter 2009 issue of Multicultural Review (Vol 18, #4, p. 55) (currently not available online). Her review reads as follows (thanks, Himilce!):
The bilingual cuentos, or short stories, woven together represent a poetic journey, a deep submersion into the cosmology of gay and lesbian Puerto Rican identity; and, as in all true literature, they sing a universal song that reaches readers of all climes, cultures, and sexual identities across the hemispheres. On the whole, the collection is charming, enlightening, humorous, touching, uplifting. The stories are as good in English as in Spanish, with the vernacular in each version so that nothing suffers in translation.
The word diversity applies to the stories not just because of the bilingual publication and the multicultural characters represented in each but also because of the various literary genres presented in this collection. Take your pick: Science fiction, detectives, fantasy, and urban sound and fury all meet under the cover of this book in one grand harmonious convergence. To that, you may add generally sensitive thematics, such as sadomasochism, transvestism, intersexuality, prostitution, and pornography. And still, on the whole, each story maintains a true-blue (azul) literary balance, where shameless bad taste or cheap prurience is overcome by poetry, insight, honesty, and the grander, long-shot view of the lives of the very human and often suffering personages sojourning across the pages.