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"Buy turns strange, moving, and illuminating, Portable Paradise offers an unflinching look at life for immigrants and their struggle to find better lives in America" --ForeWord Reviews.

Acclaimed Salvadoran writer Mario Bencastro examines themes of war, dislocation, and longing in this bilingual collection of stories, poetry, and one novella. Many of his characters are forced to leave their homeland because of violence and poverty. But once in the Promised Land, separated from family and friends in a country whose language and culture they don’t understand, many find themselves overwhelmed by feelings of loss and nostalgia.

      In “Dragon Boy,” a group of children orphaned by El Salvador’s civil war band together to survive, even as they are exploited by predators. In “The Plan,” a successful Swiss millionaire returns to his native El Salvador—which he left as a defenseless orphan—and executes his ruthless plan to take revenge on those responsible for the brutal killings of his family. And in “From Australia with Love,” a Salvadoran émigré plans to marry a countryman she met on the Internet, until she realizes that they may have ties from long ago.

      Readers will not soon forget Bencastro’s moving images fueled by the horrible realities of war and the painful need to leave behind all that is dear.

Musical, great in scope, and anchored by vivid imagery.

 

Waves of the East River recounts the lyrical passage through lower Manhattan of an exile who, upon being freed at a Brooklyn pier, receives three shares of Fortune, Drama and Faith, which he must invest in Wall Street.

      Waves of the East River revives the author’s memories of the river and the financial district, which inspired him to create this poetic and personal mythology.

      Waves of the East River is a poem in sixteen cantos that combines historic places and events to bring to life fictitious and biblical characters, with epigraphs that evoke the homage that Walt Whitman and Federico García Lorca paid to the East River.

      “Waves of the East River is an extraordinary text that manages to convene a richness of registers and the many voices of Whitman.”
      – Rei Berroa, George Mason University, USA.

 
 
© 2020 by Mario Bencastro.