“One trip is not enough to begin to understand life on the island.”
1. La Cenicienta
egs thin and long like newly planted palms. She wore her hair in a tight bun, and a black spandex dress that barely covered her ass. She was with a pale European guy who looked to be in his mid-fifties, still wearing the laminated name tag from the conference he attended earlier that day. They sat in the next booth over, barely speaking, but the guy’s hand never left the girl’s bare thigh. Every now and then he’d grab her jaw and pull her face to his for a kiss. The strobe lights flashed on her bicep and I noticed Disney’s most famous servant-turned-princess. She caught me staring so I asked if I could have a closer look. Her Cinderella glowed in the white light of the nightclub beams—the blonde beauty in the blue dress the mice made for her to wear to the ball, crown on her head, jewels on her ears.
—¡todo por la revolución!, ¡más socialismo!
The longest genocide in history.
Patricia Engel is the author of The Veins of the Ocean, It's Not Love, It's Just Paris, and Vida, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Fiction Award. A recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, Patricia's fiction has appeared in A Public Space, The Atlantic, Boston Review and elsewhere, and her books have been translated to several languages.
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“There was a trance concert in the Japanese village of nine hundred people, and I didn’t know about it.”