Sunday, March 13, 2016

Notes on Otros Valles by Jamie Berrout

I learned of Otros Valles from Ethan, who has posted some excerpts on his tumblr and in general praised it. The author describes herself as "a queer Mexican trans woman writer . . . from the South Texas border", which description fits the narrator as well, and as such, I feel it's not really for me, possibly not to read, but certainly not to discuss with any authority or attempt to explain, to write about at any length. But I wanted to mention it, and point interested readers in its direction. Here, I'll just say that, on the strength of the passages Ethan posted, I bought and read the self-published e-book, and I liked the experience of reading it. I appreciate that it is quiet and meditative. The narrator is concerned with being trans and Mexican and queer, and what that means, about family conflict and comfort, and friendship and loneliness, about intersectional oppressions and politics and history, and about writing. There isn't much in the way of plot or event, nor resolution. She might be interested in explaining things to herself, but she is not interested in explaining things to me.

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