Angelo Hernandez-Sias

  • 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