July/Aug 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 4 August 17, 2022 |

Archipelago

Someone said the story of my life was written before I was born. I am the daughter of a murdered mother. There were a father and a son who died in an accident. All that was left were the mother and her baby. Then the mother was killed by a stranger, and it was just me. I did not know her except by her absence, and this should count for nothing or for everything. I learned to be human from grandparents who also have departed. I found a father for the child I hoped to have and left him before he could leave me, when the eye wall was a halo hovering over Cuba on the TV screen. I have been through many storms alone. The news said to leave, but I’ve always stayed. I am not a leaver or a quitter. My best talent is going down with a sinking ship. Consider it a miracle that I fled at all, much less during a dangerous time, when a hurricane the size of France was predicted to swallow our state whole. I want to say I left, to speak in the singular, but the truth is we left together, in a

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Patricia Engel is the author of The Veins of the Ocean (Grove, 2016), a New York Times Editors’ Choice; It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris (Grove, 2013), winner of the International Latino Book Award; and Vida (Grove/Black Cat, 2010), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and Young Lions Fiction Awards. Her stories appear in the Best American Short Stories, the Best American Mystery Stories, and elsewhere, and have received numerous awards. A recipient of a 2014 fellowship in literature from the National Endowment for the Arts, Patricia currently lives in Miami.

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Aguacero

By Patricia Engel

Someone said the story of my life was written before I was born. I am the daughter of a murdered mother. There were a father and a son who died […]

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