Can I gush for a minute and say that I had the amazing opportunity to speak with Mark Oshiro, Kim Johnson, and Malavika Kannan a week and a half prior to writing this post and it was one of the most amazing literary experiences I’ve had?
It was. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
In Each of Us a Desert, protagonist Xóchitl is a cuentista – she takes the stories of the people in her town, the ones that plague them, and returns them to Solis. It is her burden to carry the burdens of townspeople. Until she decides that she’s going to find someone who can take her power away, and she sets off on a journey to find that person.
As I said in the upfront when I introduced Mark, this is one of those books that’s worth reading with a queer lens. I think the reason I connected with it so much, and that I’m still thinking about it two weeks after I finished it, has to do with feeling seen as a reader. Acutely understanding the allegorical nature of the story, which, like allusions, felt a little like an inside joke (but not a joke).
This is a novel I’d love to have the opportunity to teach. Or talk about with people. If you’ve read it, let me know. I would really love to have a conversation.