where the writers are
Dying Unfinished
DYING UNFINISHED
$16.95
Paperback
See Book Details »

BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Feb.01.2009
  • 9780916727451
  • WINGS Press

Maria gives an overview of the book:

This is the story of a troubled relationship between Eleanor and her daughter, Rosa, as told through their alternating voices. At the center is their rivalry over Rosa's husband, Antonio, who acts as a catalyst on more than one level. Sex is the merely the means through which each characters seeks a far deeper psychic and emotional connection with another being, the self, and the universe. Ironically, Eleanor's affair with Antonio helps restore her daughter to sanity as it restores her belief in her own perceptions.
Read full overview »

This is the story of a troubled relationship between Eleanor and her daughter, Rosa, as told through their alternating voices. At the center is their rivalry over Rosa's husband, Antonio, who acts as a catalyst on more than one level. Sex is the merely the means through which each characters seeks a far deeper psychic and emotional connection with another being, the self, and the universe. Ironically, Eleanor's affair with Antonio helps restore her daughter to sanity as it restores her belief in her own perceptions.

Read an excerpt »

Dad's manner was eager, almost servile. Yet underneath ran a current of something malign. His face could be like a mask, with an uncanny quality of seeming to change altogether during unguarded moments. Who knew what he was thinking beneath the surface? Like a tiger he would shield his claws until my guard was down.

I used to think he was deliberately cruel. Now I see that if he had allowed himself to see what was truly going on inside himself, his structures would have cracked. They were as fragile as glass. His feelings flowed like treacherous undertows in which we found ourselves submerged.

In his fifties, he was still handsome. His hazel eyes would shift nervously, never looking directly into mine. Loud voice with a mid-western twang. . . As an artist he possessed integrity. He would work as if in a trance, craving the perfect form of a metallic object in space, the perfect shape of a woman's haunch, inherence to an inner vision. It was this core, struggling for expression in a world he perceived as hostile, that aroused my sympathy.

. . . One day we all drove to Stinson Beach. Dad and you were in front, while Antonio, the baby, and I squeezed into the back seat of your rental car. I held Isabel close, as if she were a lifejacket. We drove along a winding road edged on one side with cliffs. Field grass waved in the wind, amidst purple patches of heather. Far below lay the sea.

"Does it rain in summer?" asked Dad.

Silence.

"I say, Antonio, est-qu'il pleût en l'été ici?

"Presque jamais avant Octobre."

"The heather makes me think of Scotland," you murmured.

"Did it come from Scotland?"

"Monsieur, it comes from the moon."

I giggled, but no one else laughed.

Tension increased as we drove. Your yearning. Dad's jealousy, barely contained. I lay my head against Antonio's shoulder, but he stiffened when you turned around and invisibly touched his wrist. I began to sob. Dad drove faster. I could not hold back the tears.

"A carelessly dropped cigarette could cause a terrible fire."

Silence.

He swerved around a car, narrowly missing an oncoming van on the curve.

"Aaron, be careful!" you cried.

He slowed down a bit.

Stop!" shouted Antonio. He put his arm around me. "Your daughter is crying." I hugged the baby closer.

But Dad kept on driving as the sun sank lower in the sky, and you kept your gaze straight ahead.

 

maria-espinosa's picture

Note from the author coming soon...

About Maria

MARIA ESPINOSA is a novelist, poet, and translator as well as a teacher. Her publications include four novels : Incognito: Journey of a Secret Jew, Dark Plums, Longing, which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and Dying Unfinished, which received...

Read full bio »

Published Reviews

May.09.2008

Longing by Maria Espinosa. Arte Publico Press, Houston:1995. This is one of the finest pyschological novels I have read. It is a highly complex story of the relationship between a young Jewish woman and her...

May.10.2008

“. . . A richly textured story in which Alfonso and his family struggle to retain their values and traditions in the face of relentless and bloody persecution. . . . It is a family in which every aspect of...

Author's Publishing Notes

CONTACT PUBLISHERS Wings Press (210) 271 - 7805 milligan@wingspress.com