A Review of Nefando by Monica Ojeda (translated from Spanish by Sarah Booker)

NefandoMónica Ojeda (translated from Spanish by Sarah Booker)Coffee House Press164 pages By Danny Eisenberg, MFA Candidate in FictionIf you think fiction about online subcultures is doomed to quaintness, and that publishing internet discourse in a tangible book inherently renders that discourse obsolete—if, in other words, you believe that our online selves...

We Were Happy

“Now, when you go out of the house,” I say to my two new American students, “You move your object to the lower shelf.” I put the pewter fish on the lower desk shelf to show them. “You see? Here. I am the fish, so when I leave, I put it here.” The white girl is nodding, but the black one looks confused. Liz. Kiara. I must learn their names. “And when I come home, I put it again on the top shelf, like so.” I demonstrate. “Okay? You understand?”


That should have been the end of it. An unexciting stop on an otherwise interesting journey. Unfortunately, I had not kept an eye on Ruby. While the rest of us had been gnawing fried bread and swatting flies, she had been chatting away with our hosts in a manner that was far too loose and animated to be strictly decent from a Kyrgyz perspective. They seemed taken with her — the man, his mother, his sisters, and his aunts. So taken that when we all stood up to go, they said she should stay.