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Cabañuelas, a novel

Norma Elía Cantú · University of New Mexico Press · 2019 · 282 pp

Novela

Nena leaves Laredo, Texas, and moves to Madrid, Spain, to research the historical roots of traditional fiestas in Laredo. Immersing herself in post-Franco Spain and its rich history, its food, music, and fiestas Nena finds herself falling for Paco, a Spaniard who works in publishing. Nena's research and experiences teach her about who she is, where she comes from, and what is important to her, but as her work comes to a close, Nena must decide where she can best be true to her entire self: in Spain with Paco or in Laredo, her home, where her job and family await her return.

"A personal almanac that crosses borders of genres, a testimonio/novela, a compendium of folklore, a collection of snapshots, an unlynching a rope loosened from the throat of history, a telling, a woman reclaiming a private geography from that multiplicity of geographies--la frontera, from un pedacito de tierra that is home." —Sandra Cisneros

"In Cabañuelas, both author and protagonist are ethnographers, co-weaving a story rich in descriptions of folklore, architecture, landscape, relationships, and academia while telling a transtemporal and transcontinental story of self-affirmation against the historical backdrops and center-stage landscapes of Spain, Mexico, and the United States." —Larissa M. Mercado-López