cover image The Field

The Field

Victoria Garza. Jackleg, $17 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-73751-349-0

Garza’s artful debut, a memoir, charts the aftermath of a tragedy that devastated her family. In 1978, Garza’s younger sister Gina and cousin Connie were killed in an accident on their way to a family party: “My nine-year-old sister and cousin... put in the ground forever. I was ten and not having any idea how long forever was, I was constantly surprised. And still, I am surprised.” She documents the events and the family’s reactions, by mood rather than chronologically, sharing her own perspective alongside those of her parents and extended family. This mosaic approach, though digressive, enables key pieces to unfold strategically and amplifies tension, as in Garza’s own remembrances from the day of the accident: “My aunt Patricia and my cousin Peggy are going to be chaperones. They are in the truck. They and my uncle survive.” When Garza addresses the family’s grief, she’s incisive: “The climactic part is the void of the loved one who has disappeared... the daily absence that creates a gulf inside you, a space that is filled with emptiness.” Garza is off to a strong start. (Nov.)