Soy La Avon Lady and Other Stories

Soy La Avon Lady and Other Stories

By Lorraine Lopez

Curbstone Press, Paperback, 9781880684863, 238pp.

Publication Date: May 2002


"Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories," is a stunning debut collection of short stories that explore identity issues in the Latino community. The cast of characters in her stories include a young boy-impelled by his guilt over failing to prevent his parents' divorce-who seeks to save an abandoned baby, an elderly man attempting to invoke his dead wife by regularly donning her clothing and make-up, a former National Guardsman whose failed attempts to connect with his family do not prevent him from trying, and a young woman determined to give birth to her murdered lover's child. In the title story, an aging Avon representative, who is often mistaken for a transvestite, has become so estranged from the Spanish language she spoke as a child that she no longer remembers that she spoke it or what happened in her childhood. Many of the characters in these stories must negotiate differences in race, culture, language, class, and gender in attempts to discover who they are and where they are going.Lopez's vivid characters struggle both to find a place of belonging and companions who can accept them, as well as self-forgiveness for the compromises they made in living necessarily bifurcated lives as they attempt to breech the gap between cultures.

About the Author
Lorraine M. Lopez lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she teaches at Vanderbilt University. Her awards include the Independent Publisher Book Award for Multicultural Fiction, the Paterson Prize for Fiction, the International Latino Book Award for Short Stories, and the inaugural Miguel Marmol Prize for Fiction (selected by Sandra Cisneros and awarded by Curbstone Press, for a first book-length work of fiction of a Latino/a writer). She has written a book for young adults, Call Me Henri. Her latest novel is The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters, which was a Los Compadres/Borders selection. Her forthcoming books include a new novel, Limpieza, and an edited essay collection, An Angle of Vision: Women Writers on Their Poor and Working Class Roots.