I especially like today’s blog because I am presenting you all with an author who is more than known to many, but who, in the agency, and with Catalan as her main language in writing, is one of a kind. She is Laia Fàbregas and her novel NO ESCRIURÉ LA TEVA HISTÒRIA published by Empúries gets us off to a very good start this January, literally speaking. Laia transports us into an unknown and unusual America, and I must confess that I did not like novels about the old America until I got into this one.
The novel begins with a man lying on a secondary road. He has just had a traffic accident with his motorbike. As the story progresses, we learn that his name is Dylan Garcia and that he is a debt collector. His story unfolds in the immediate present: Donald Trump is president of the United States and the coronavirus is just beginning to distress the population. Dylan lives and works in Pasadena, but is very active around the Salton Sea, a Californian lake. In parallel to Dylan’s story – we will soon discover that he was not alone on his motorbike, but with a woman called Sarah, who has left him there and we will eventually know how the circle closes – we will discover the adventures of the Pont family, especially John and Shirley. John is the youngest of four brothers from Oklahoma who must leave the family farm and go to work for others after their father drowned in debt and they lost their cotton farm. At the new farm where they go to work, he will eventually meet his wife – the farmer’s youngest daughter – and when they marry they will go north the country and settle down on their own and prosper. All this takes place just before the Great Depression.
The stories of Dylan and the Pont family run parallel. Laia tells of two opposing journeys, the Pont’s journey from Oklahoma to California in search of a better future and Dylan’s journey into his past, to discover his identity. The dust that is forcing John and his family to leave for California is also the dust that is changing life in this area of California, as if the whole Pont family and their descendants were marked by this climate. In short, a history of American misery.
A very structured novel with very well-defined characters and an efficient narrative that gives the readers confidence by creating constant fear, which makes them want to continue reading without stopping to see if any of the characters are successful in their situation. Congratulations, Laia, for this consolidation as an author after having already published 4 novels. We are in a moment of dust, but narratives like yours make us see that we must continue walking.