Malcriada & Other Stories
by Lorraine Avila
In the middle of the Caribbean Sea, aboard an illegal voyage from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, a twelve year old learns her name; a former cacao farmer finds a constellation on his lover’s thighs; best friends become strangers and find the essence of themselves in the face of deception; an old man exchanges his homeland for a New York City bodega storefront; preteen boys grapple with authority; female cousins come to terms with their first shared sexual experience; an alcoholic woman finds serenity at the bottom of the sea; feminism is deconstructed by opposing views; on the back of a motorcycle, self awareness is found; and a woman discovers that healing is a series of choices.
In sixteen stories, Lorraine Avila takes her readers on a powerful journey that redefines breaking and healing. Twelve accompanying images by Crystal Rodriguez join in on the development of characters who pick their scabs and examine their wounds to arrive at their individual cures.
Praise for Malcriada
"In Malcriada, Lorraine Avila, offers every ounce of rage, attitude, and deep reckoning a woman can offer in the face of a world that's constantly trying to stomp her out. Malcriada is the snap of her jaws claiming the life she motherf*cking deserves. Avila's writing is coming for us all."
- Gabby Rivera, author of Juliet Takes a Breath
“Avila’s writing is a soul-stirring experience, as she navigates trauma with deep care, while exalting women and treating us like poetry, allowing us to breathe even as we dive deep into the lives of her characters.”
- Amanda Alcántara, Author of Chula
Malcriada & Other Stories is a courageous and bold compilation of stories breaking barriers within the Dominican diaspora. Any Dominican migrant will find themselves in Avila’s words and call it home. I wept, ached, and healed with her characters. Every story brought me closer to the parts of me the diaspora had swallowed hole. I remembered the innocence and harshness of living in the island, along with the joy and loss of leaving. Avila sparks many important conversations about the layers of abuse, the challenge of recovery, and the triumph of growth. Every young Dominican woman needs a copy of this book to annotate and turn to when a ticket to the homeland is not an option. In these stories, I found all the women I have been and hope to become.
-Danyeli Del Orbe, Poet
In Malcriada, Lorraine Avila guides you into a journey that you never want to end.
In her first story, titled after her book, Lorraine tackles the complexity and depth of illegal immigration; she touches on the nuances of feminism in “Bodysuit;” and shares a love story intertwined with anti-blackness and self-care in “Justice.”
You’ll meet a variety of women — and a few men — every one of them different than the last. Yet even in their very obvious differences, you’ll find something about each of them that gives you a feeling of déjà vu — almost as if you’ve met them before. Even in their worst moments, you’ll love them all.
The voices used in Malcriada will remind you of your own. The memories shared will cause you to dig up those that you’ve unknowingly buried.
Avila’s ability to capture the experience of a recent immigrant, the intricacy of a relationship between two best friends, and the pain of anyone who’s been hurt by someone they loved, is remarkable.
-MP Frias, author of The Art of Letting Go