cover image One Day I'll Tell You the Things I've Seen

One Day I'll Tell You the Things I've Seen

Santiago Vaquera-V%C3%A1squez. Univ. of New Mexico, $18.95 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-0-8263-5573-7

In this melancholy collection of linked stories, Vaquera-V%C3%A1squez creates glimpses of characters who cross borders while remaining remote from other people. While there are multiple narrators, the frequent use of the first-person perspective gives the entire work the feel of a memoir. Lalo Rodriguez and his cousin Daniel appear in each other's stories and go solo, traveling around the world (locations include California, Iowa, Madrid, Mexico City, and Istanbul). Despite the distance they maintain, there is an intimacy as these characters drift in and out of each other's lives and those of the supporting cast. "The divorce of my jefes and the cancer of my sister," described as "The Cataclysm," runs through these stories, as do other elements like a white Mustang and punk music. Passing relationships with women exist somewhere in the gray area between romance, friendship, and sequential casual encounters. In the end, these characters live in "the space between nations" on a never-ending "trip stitched together by stories and photographs." In this lovely yet visceral book, the triumphs and tragedies of Vaquera-Vasquez's characters consistently resonate with readers. (Mar.)