Written by Rey Andújar, this collection of short stories was first published in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 2011 in limited quantities. The book in Spanish won the Ultramar Letters Award in New York in 2011. Though he has been writing for many years and his work has been winning awards since 2005, 7Vientos’ edition of Saturnalia marks the first time that any of Andújar’s works have been translated into English. This book is a flip edition One half of the book is the original work in Spanish; flip it over, and you get the English translation.
Saturnalia was written after a series of moves that left the author feeling out of place in what would become his new home city. To hear him talk about Chicago now, one would never guess that this city was once a formless mass of confusion to the author when he first arrived. The fourteen stories stitched together to form this volume were the result of the isolation and longing for a home that came with moving farther from home. From Santo Domingo to San Juan and on to New York, these stories follow characters searching for anything they can hold onto that will tie them down to a place they can belong. Sometimes they succeed. Often they fail. But this book is not all misery. There is also humor and hope. Because, after all, by laughing at yourself, the world laughs with you. Grab your copy of Saturnalia and discover the voice of a writer whose constant movement, be it from city to city or in his work on stage, takes us on a journey to what is both familiar and strange.