White Light (Paperback)

By Vanessa Garcia

Shade Mountain Press, 9780991355549, 284pp.

Publication Date: September 23, 2015

List Price: 28.00*
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Fiction. Latino/Latina Studies. Women's Studies. Just before her father's sudden death, Cuban- American artist Veronica Gonzalez is offered her first gallery exhibit, a real chance to break into the art world. Torn between the need to mourn and the pressure to create new artwork, Veronica is propelled into a fever-dream of productivity and grief, amidst memories of her tumultuous relationship with her colorful but infuriating Cuban emigre father, a volatile man of outsize appetites and passions who never stopped longing for his homeland. Praised by Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka for its "lyrical pace and texture," WHITE LIGHT maps a young woman's struggle to distill her grief, rage, and love onto the canvas.

"A relentless engine, told in rich, smart prose and lucid detail equal parts elegy and portrait of an artist. A lush, vibrant portrayal of the creative process, a daughter's love, and the unstoppable maelstrom of grief." Kirkus, starred review.

Praise For White Light

This first novel by Vanessa Garcia, the 2009 runner-up for the Rolex Mentor/Protege Initiative for Literature, has indirectly rewarded that project in its world-wide search for fresh talent in the Arts. A subtly woven network of relationships, it seduces with its lyrical pace and texture, tender and poignant, yet unsentimental. An artiste’s "walk in the woods" that gently takes the reader by the hand. —Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, author of You Must Set Forth at Dawn and Outsiders

A relentless engine, told in rich, smart prose and lucid detail—equal parts elegy and portrait of an artist. A lush, vibrant portrayal of the creative process, a daughter’s love, and the unstoppable maelstrom of grief.—Kirkus, starred review

White Light is a wonderfully generous creation, including a myriad of worlds while never blurring the firm line with which the author is always in control. The world of visual arts, of a Cuban American daughter and her difficult father, of food—its joys and terrors—of a young woman's trying to navigate her way in a world that offers her simultaneously too few and too many possibilities. It is a throbbingly original achievement.—Mary Gordon, author of The Love of My Youth and Spending

Vanessa Garcia’s brilliant first novel is a fresh contribution to the American portrait of an artist, following a young Cuban-American woman through a journey of personal disaster juxtaposed against professional success. White Light illuminates the complex assimilation of past into present, of heritage into culture, of life into the sort of art that is lasting, meaningful and necessary. —A. Manette Ansay, author of Vinegar Hill and Blue Water

Many-tongued and of mixed-media, White Light is a novel as much about losing a father as about constructing a self through art—and as vibrant for its intelligence as for its emotions, colors, and pure passion. —Jane Alison, author of The Sisters Antipodes