Angelo Hernandez-Sias

  • Are We There Yet?

    LORRIE MOORE’S NEW NOVEL STARTS TWICE. The first chapter is a letter from one sister to another, an old one, probably, because who writes letters anymore and I don’t even know what a “desk cartonnier” is but it sounds old. I can’t quite place the year or state but the period and region are clear: the Reconstruction South. “I have also sent Harry some old rebel coins for pounding into cufflinks,” our narrator, an innkeeper named Elizabeth, writes, as if to say, There will be no Confederate relics in my lodge. Canadian coins, oddly enough, circulate, but one senses that Elizabeth is speaking of

  • A Case for the Weird Voice

    ANGELO HERNANDEZ-SIAS: A funny story about the title story of Liberation Day (Random House, $28) is that you woke up one night from a dream and wrote something on your notepad, thinking it was the most brilliant idea. And when you woke up, you found it said: “Custer in the Bardo.”

    GEORGE SAUNDERS: In the dream state, it was so perfect, it seemed like a big advance over Lincoln in the Bardo. Luckily, in the light of day, I thought better of it. I had been wanting to write about Custer for a long time, but after that dream and the horror of reading that title in the morning, I just gave up on

  • fiction April 28, 2022

    Guilty Associations

    I spent the last days of 2019 with family in a Panamanian duplex, across the street from a “village” of high-end apartments where men worked the yards. Fernanda Melchor’s new novel, Paradais, takes place at a Mexican luxury development that shares the Panamanian complex’s name: Paradise. The coincidence is banal, if illustrative. “Páradais,” the phonetic rendering of an English word, is a clichéd, empty signifier of colonial “luxury,” sort of like an American apartment complex called “Royal Glen” or “High Manor.” But Melchor’s novel owes less to the unimaginative naming conventions of developers