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Excerpt from It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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It Would Be Night in Caracas

by Karina Sainz Borgo

It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo X
It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2019, 224 pages

    Paperback:
    Aug 2020, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Karen Lewis
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"Here you go, eat only one if you want but there are three more," said my aunt Amelia, back from the kitchen, with a plate of fried bollos stuffed with pork picadillo. "Come on, eat up, m'hija, it's getting cold!"

After doing the washing up, the three women would sit on the patio to play bingo amid the clouds of mosquitoes that descended at six in the evening, the same time every day. We always scared them off with the smoke that rose from the dry brushwood once it caught alight. We would make a bonfire and would draw together to watch it burn beneath the day's dying sun. Then one of the twins, sometimes Clara and sometimes Amelia, would turn in her rattan chair and, growling, would say the magic words: the Dead One.

That was how they referred to my father, an engineering student whose plans to marry my mother were wiped from his mind when she told him she was expecting. Judging by the anger my aunts radiated, anyone would say they'd been left in the lurch too. They mentioned him much more than my mother did; I never heard her speak his name. No word came from him after he left, or so my mother told me. It seemed a good enough incentive not to be fazed by his absence. If he didn't want to hear from us, then why should we expect anything from him?

I never understood our family to be a large one. Family meant the two of us, my mother and me. Our family tree started and ended with us. Together we formed a junco, a plant capable of growing anywhere. We were small and veiny, almost ribbed, perhaps so it wouldn't hurt if a piece of us was wrenched off, or even if we were pulled out by the roots. We were made to endure. Our world was sustained by the two of us keeping it in balance. Everything outside our family of two was the exception: supplementary, and for that reason expendable. We weren't waiting on anyone; we had each other and that was enough.

From It Would Be Night In Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo, translated by Elizabeth Bryer. Used with permission of the publisher, HarperVia, an imprint of Harper Collins. Copyright © 2019 Karina Sainz Borgo. English translation copyright © 2019 Elizabeth Bryer.

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