And Other Stories is a small UK publisher which publishes some of the best in contemporary writing including many translations and aims to push people s reading limits and help them discover authors of adventurous and inspiring writing They are set up as a not
profit Community Interest Company operate on a subscriber model with subscribers of which they now have around 1000 in 40 countries committing in advance to enable the publication of future books Famously and admirably And Other Stories were the only publisher to respond to Kamilia Shamsie subseuent winner of the 2018 Women s Prize s 2016 challenge to only publish books by women in 2018httpswwwtheguardiancombooks201 Tentacle by Rita Indiana was first published in Spanish as La Mucama de Omicunl Omikunle s Maid and has been translated into English by Achy ObejasIt is an unusual novel a mix as I saw it of Dominican politics past and present time travel science fiction future dystopian eco thriller modern art tribute or satire I was not entirely clear and Yoruba influenced voodooThe book starts in the future sometime in the mid 21st Century A populist Dominican President Said Bona formed a left wing voodoo inspired totalitarian regime allied with other states in a Bolivarian Alliance but in 2024 a seauake flushed some biological weapons he was hoarding for the Venezuelan government into the Caribbean destroying the local marine environment and reaping havoc on the global marine ecosystem The main character of the book is Acidle who serves as a maid to Bona s spiritual advisor Esther or Omicunl Acidle s ambitions are initially fixated on finding her Italian father training as an Italian chef and paying for a chemical sex change and she hatches a plan to steal an anemone that Esther eeps and uses one of the few remaining sea creatures However when that plan goes wrong her real destiny "as Esther s chosen spiritual successor anointed to eliminate not the effects "Esther s chosen spiritual successor anointed to eliminate not the effects using time travel the very origins of the catastrophe comes to foreIn what starts as the other main story trail which over time we realise is set in something like the present day an artist Argenis is part of a part artistic commune part ecological sanctuary being established by a couple Georgio and Linda when he suddenly finds himself leading an apparent parallel past life as the sole survivor of a shipwreck now living with a motley crew of bucaneers on the Dominican coast a few hundred years earlierEventually we see how the two stories combine the time travel elements come much to the fore as we work our way through the shifting characters and time zones Certainly this is a very different and interesting storyThe ending which at first confused me seemed to me after a night s reflection to be a clever metaphor for the attitude of humanity to climate change and ecological disaster being unwilling to sacrifice present day personal comfort for future generations even in full nowledge of the likely conseuences for the planet and those future generations of that decisionI had two reservations with the book Firstly just as with Alia Trabucco Zeran The Remainder by the same publisher the book Firstly just as with Alia Trabucco Zeran The Remainder by the same publisher think the book would have benefited from a translator s note as well as a forewordafterword for the English reader less familiar with the political background Secondly I was uncomfortable with the realfantasied sexual violence directed against women La Mucama de Omicunl Omikunle s Maid comes to us in the UK as Tentacle There s something about that new title that makes it sound scary than it actually is Then the blurb says only she the titular maid can travel back in time and save the ocean and humanity from disaster But first she must become the man she always was with the help of a sacred anemone When you read that description. Esta apabullante novela ue supone la consagración de Rita Indiana como narradora tiene tantas capas de lectura y tantos giros fascinantes ue rehuye toda síntesis todo encorsetamiento Es más sólo cabe una invitación entusiasta a la lectura por parte de los editoresAunue para los ue prefieran algunas claves he auí un resumen la historia arranca en el apartamento de la santera y asesora del Presidente dominicano Esther Escudero llamada también Omicunlé desde ue en un rito afrocubano se convirtiese en servidora de la diosa del mar Yemayá Su joven mucama Alcide Figueroa a la.For Profit Community Interest Company
Rita Indiana ¿ 0 DownloadDark skinned Black bodies was a problem for me It was unnecessary for the plot and the use of the N r seemed completely gratuitous Similarly the gratuitous sexual violence was disappointing and distracting UnfortunateThere was an important story to be told about power patriarchy race sexual freedom the Orisha That story got lost There s a lot happening in the 130 pages of Tentacle It flits through many narrative points of view and several points in time which turn out to be linked in mysterious ways There are elements of the dystopian magical and ueer as well as artistic environmental colonialist and political themes I appreciated all of these and thought the weird temporal structure of events "was well executed The combination was original and potentially really powerful However "well executed The combination was original and potentially really powerful However short length meant that every theme was galloped through at top speed giving neither reader nor characters time to breathe The last novel I read The Will to Battle advanced its plot slowly and incrementally via extensive dialogue By contrast there is hardly any dialogue in Tentacle at all it alternates between internal stream of consciousness and bald statement of events by omniscient third person Although both approaches have their benefits the shift from one to the other between novels proved disconcerting I would have liked Tentacle to be longer so that the intriguing characters and settings could be further developed There were snapshots of the Dominican Republic in the past and future which were evocative yet curtailed The ending inevitably felt abrupt and somewhat arbitrary view spoilerI was rather disappointed with it in fact Acilde opts out of any effort to save the ocean in favour of personal comfort as Giorgio while the fate of Argenis remains ambiguous hide spoiler At last the ueer punk dystopian novel of the Dominican Republic I should have been waiting for For a minute in the second chapter I worried it would turn into that sort satire where characters no one can really care about get tossed about like puppets by arbitrary forces of authorial whim but no it turns out to be much stranger and much meticulously constructed than that A smart pulp tour of Caribbean history art politics and ecology A bundle of modish ideas and themes blasted in a blender and spattered across 130 pages to resemble something vaguely novellish Wow So many strands skillfully interwoven Taut Tense Terrific Update 52120 Just finished reading this for the second time This time my reading was different in that during the Covid 19 pandemiclockdown I read it aloud during Zoom calls to my friend who didn t have her copy of the book with her in her current location It was a great way to read the book as we could stop discuss the sections as we read And really this story leaves me with uestions than answers which is ok with me Some uestions view spoilerWas AcildeGeorgio the correct god or is it a case of mistaken identitythe prophecy being interpreted wrongly Did Georgio choose individual love over love for humanitythe Earth The Greek gods misbehaved all the time making uestionable choices screwing over each other humanity is that similar to the godsacred outlook here Was I expecting a certain ending because of the prevalence of monotheistic religion assuming
A Savior Will Savesavior will save acting in its own self interest Do the actions in one timeline definechangeallow the person to direct actions in another timeline Or is there individuality in each timeline hide spoiler Yes very cleverAt first I loved how lightning paced this was and then I started to lose the plot Finally I Stopped Caring About Keeping UpI caring about eeping upI sure the fact that I had no fucking idea what was going on says about me than the book but yeah Being fucking cray cray isn t enough it s a start but it s not enoug. O también de tramas y subtramas; de esos intereses políticos es decir públicos ue suelen pasar por muchas novelas del presente de un modo inane Pocas ficciones hay ue nos hablen del arte contemporáneo con tanta precisión como La mucama de Omicunlé pocas también ue nos hablen así sobre la contaminación de los mares y océanos; por citar dos de los asuntos ue Indiana aborda auí Pero en todo momento con una sutileza ue rehuye el adoctrinamiento o el cinismo posmodernos para nunca alejarse de lo ue es simple y puramente necesidad y vidaYa lo decíamos al principio apabullan. ,
You can understand why some reviewers here on Goodreads have called this Caribbean Murakami But Murakami fans should be warned because although several plot elements have a Murakami esue feel to them there is explicit sex and sexual violence here than you would find in a novel from the Japanese authorThe combination of new title and blurb makes you think you are launching into a sci fifantasy novel and I suppose there are elements of that But the book is than that It is technology Yoruba ritual ueer politics poverty sex colonialism and contemporary art Oxford comma not mineThe maid in uestion is Acilde who begins the story in the home of Esther Escudero also nown as Omicunl in a post apocalyptic Dominican Republic about 10 years from now The oceans are dead Acilde is saving money for a procedure that will allow her to become the man she always was as the blurb puts it But that transformation opens up than a simple change of gender The phrase the man she always was warns us that this isn t going to be a normal book I m not referring to anything about gender change but to the mixing of past present and future that is perhaps the most standout feature of the bookIn parallel Argenis is a struggling artist who gets the chance to join a creative programme led by Giorgio Menicucci Here something very strange begins to happen to him also related to mixing of past and presentGradually Acilde s and Argenis stories come together both involving a strange form of time travel with different times overlaid in Argenis case we see which is which because the novel s now is narrated in the past tense whereas Argensis time travelled self is narrated in the present tense this leads to tense changes in mid paragraph fairly freuentlyIt s difficult to write without including spoilers The book blurb makes it clear so this isn t a spoiler that Acilde s time travel relates to saving the oceans There is an interesting review here You can read this if you don t mind spoilers but I won t say about the plot It is a disconcerting book to read The time travel aspects make
for a very non linear narrative that often as mentioned switches in mid paragraph Add to that the huge list ofa very non linear narrative that often as mentioned switches in mid paragraph Add to that the huge list of where it can be difficult to eep track of who belongs where or when in fact I would probably advise readers to Heads of the Colored People keep someind of cast list to track thisFor me it was interesting than it was gripping Perhaps if I new about the Dominican Republic I would understand of the references and contextI m not sure about the new title 45 stars rounded up This novel got confusing at times with its time travelling protagonist I didn t realize until uite close to the end of the book how many time periods were involvedStill it is a bizarre and enchanting tale bold irrational It interweaves so many elements and themes into its web I m curious about the historicity of parts of the story like the development of the Dominican Republic s dairy industry by Jewish immigrants from Austria "in the late 1930sI plan to re read this book in the future it pushes all my "the late 1930sI plan to re read this book in the future it pushes all my I m beginning to realize how much metoo is changing the way I read There is a lot of sexual violence in this novel treated in a pulp fiction y way That Even A Year Ago Might Not Have Bothered Me even a year ago might not have bothered me much as it does now These days my tolerance for sexually violent scenes is significantly lower than before I m uicker to judge a scene as exploitative rather than necessary Objectively I can say this is a uniue novel where important themes weave through the story in witty and imaginative ways But I felt unhappy as I read and maybe even a little unsafe These weren t feelings that I wanted to feel at the moment Nicely written if a bit too mysterious at pointsVery interesting story told densely due to it s lengthThe treatment of. Ue Esther ha apartado de la prostitución gracias a la colaboración de otro personaje fundamental Eric Vitier está a punto de vivir una historia de pasados presentes y futuros vertiginosa y por momentos aparentemente imposible más allá del relatoLas deidades afroantillanas ue habitan el mar Caribe la música tradicional y la música electrónica el sexo en todas sus formas incluso el cambio de sexo los bucaneros del siglo XVII o los grabados de Goya son otros de los cimientos sobre los ue se alza este texto lleno de intrigas y deseos lleno de aristas y de falsas certezas Llen.