Juliana LamyMar 14, 2023
You Were Watching from the Sand
Red Hen Press 2023
Playful, kinetic, and devastating in turn, You Were Watching from the Sand (Red Hen Press, 2023) is a collection in which Haitian men, women, and children who find their lives cleaved by the interminably strange bite back at the bizarre with their own oddities. In "belly," a young woman abandoned by her only living relative makes a person from the mud beside her backyard creek. In "We Feel it in Punta Cana," a domestic child servant in the Dominican Republic tours through his own lush imagination to make his material conditions more bearable. In "The Oldest Sensation is Anger," a teenager invites a same-aged family friend into her apartment and uncovers a spate of disturbing secrets about her. Written in a mixture of high lyricism, absurdist comedy, and Haitian cultural witticisms, this is a collection whose dynamism matches that of its characters at every beat and turn.
Kendall Dinniene is a fourth year English PhD student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Her research examines how contemporary American authors respond to anti-fatness in their work.