In “The Moths,” a young girl experiences a rite of passage to adulthood as she cares for her dying grandmother, her Abuelita. Estranged from her family’s strict demands, and especially from her domineering father, the girl finds comfort nursing her grandmother. Her grandmother dies, and the girl carries her into the bathroom, submerging herself and her grandmother in a tub of water. Gray moths begin to fill the bathroom, emerging from the grandmother’s soul through her mouth.
In “Growing,” a confused teenage protagonist is pulled between childhood pleasures and adult desires and is saddled with the responsibility of taking care of a younger sister. In “Birthday,” Alice Johnson comes to realize that she cannot depend on a man, and that the decision to have an abortion is hers alone. In “The Broken Web,” an older women tries to break free from the gender roles imposed by the Church and by society. She kills her husband in an argument but finds that she is still owned by him and their children, regardless of whether she is in Tijuana, Mexico, or in Fresno, California.
In “The Cariboo Café,” two immigrant children become lost in the Los Angeles garment district. They are found by an old woman, herself an undocumented immigrant from Central America. She takes the children to her hotel room and then to the Cariboo Café, where the owner feeds the three and then later calls the police. Both the white café owner and the...
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