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Sabrina & Corina
Cover of Sabrina & Corina
Sabrina & Corina
Stories
Latinas of Indigenous descent living in the American West take center stage in this haunting debut story collection—a powerful meditation on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands. 
Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Indigenous Latina characters and the land they inhabit. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado—a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite—these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.
In “Sugar Babies,” ancestry and heritage are hidden inside the earth but tend to rise during land disputes. “Any Further West” follows a sex worker and her daughter as they leave their ancestral home in southern Colorado only to find a foreign and hostile land in California. In “Tomi,” a woman leaves prison and finds herself in a gentrified city that is a shadow of the one she remembers from her childhood. And in the title story, “Sabrina & Corina,” a Denver family falls into a cycle of violence against women, coming together only through ritual.
Sabrina & Corina is a moving narrative of unrelenting feminine power and an exploration of the universal experiences of abandonment, heritage, and an eternal sense of home.
Audiobook Table of Contents:
Sugar Babies read by Almarie Guerra
Sabrina & Corina read by Roxana Ortega
Sisters read by Alma Cuervo
Remedies read by Ana Isabel
Julian Plaza read by Kyla Garcia
Galapago read by Marisol Ramirez
Cheesman Park read by Roxana Ortega
Tomi read by Kyla Garcia
Any Further West read by Marisol Ramirez
All Her Names read by Alma Cuervo
Ghost Sickness read by Roxana Ortega
Advance praise for Sabrina & Corina
“Here are stories that blaze like wildfires, with characters who made me laugh and broke my heart, believable in everything they said and did. How tragic that American letters hasn’t met these women of the West before, women who were here before America was America. And how tragic that these working-class women haven’t seen themselves in the pages of American lit before. Thank you for honoring their lives, Kali. I welcome them and you."—Sandra Cisneros

“Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s collection of stories, Sabrina & Corina, isn’t just good, it’s masterful storytelling. Fajardo-Anstine is a fearless writer: her women are strong and scarred witnesses of the violations of their homelands, their culture, their bodies; her plots turn and surprise, unerring and organic in their comprehensiveness; her characters break your heart, but you keep on going because you know you are in the hands of a master. . . . Her stories move through the heart of darkness and illuminate it with the soul of truth. Comparisons came to mind: the Alice Munro of the high plains, the Toni Morrison of indigenous Latinas—but why compare her to anybody? She is her own unique voice, and her work will easily find a place, not just in Latinx literature but in American literature and beyond.”—Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents
Latinas of Indigenous descent living in the American West take center stage in this haunting debut story collection—a powerful meditation on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands. 
Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Indigenous Latina characters and the land they inhabit. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado—a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite—these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.
In “Sugar Babies,” ancestry and heritage are hidden inside the earth but tend to rise during land disputes. “Any Further West” follows a sex worker and her daughter as they leave their ancestral home in southern Colorado only to find a foreign and hostile land in California. In “Tomi,” a woman leaves prison and finds herself in a gentrified city that is a shadow of the one she remembers from her childhood. And in the title story, “Sabrina & Corina,” a Denver family falls into a cycle of violence against women, coming together only through ritual.
Sabrina & Corina is a moving narrative of unrelenting feminine power and an exploration of the universal experiences of abandonment, heritage, and an eternal sense of home.
Audiobook Table of Contents:
Sugar Babies read by Almarie Guerra
Sabrina & Corina read by Roxana Ortega
Sisters read by Alma Cuervo
Remedies read by Ana Isabel
Julian Plaza read by Kyla Garcia
Galapago read by Marisol Ramirez
Cheesman Park read by Roxana Ortega
Tomi read by Kyla Garcia
Any Further West read by Marisol Ramirez
All Her Names read by Alma Cuervo
Ghost Sickness read by Roxana Ortega
Advance praise for Sabrina & Corina
“Here are stories that blaze like wildfires, with characters who made me laugh and broke my heart, believable in everything they said and did. How tragic that American letters hasn’t met these women of the West before, women who were here before America was America. And how tragic that these working-class women haven’t seen themselves in the pages of American lit before. Thank you for honoring their lives, Kali. I welcome them and you."—Sandra Cisneros

“Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s collection of stories, Sabrina & Corina, isn’t just good, it’s masterful storytelling. Fajardo-Anstine is a fearless writer: her women are strong and scarred witnesses of the violations of their homelands, their culture, their bodies; her plots turn and surprise, unerring and organic in their comprehensiveness; her characters break your heart, but you keep on going because you know you are in the hands of a master. . . . Her stories move through the heart of darkness and illuminate it with the soul of truth. Comparisons came to mind: the Alice Munro of the high plains, the Toni Morrison of indigenous Latinas—but why compare her to anybody? She is her own unique voice, and her work will easily find a place, not just in Latinx literature but in American literature and beyond.”—Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents
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    820
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  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

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Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the cover Chapter 1

    Sugar Babies

    Though the southern Colorado soil was normally hard and cakey, it had snowed and then rained an unusual amount that spring. Some of the boys in my eighth-grade class decided it was the perfect ground for playing army. They borrowed shovels and picks from their fathers’ sheds, placing the tools on their bicycle handlebars and riding out to the western edge of our town, Saguarita, a place where the land with its silken fibers of swaying grass resembled a sleeping woman with her face pressed firmly to the pillow, a golden blonde by day, a raven-haired beauty by night.

    The first boy to hit bone was Robbie Martinez. He did so with the blunt edge of a rusted shovel. Out of the recently drenched earth, he lifted a piece of brittle faded whiteness and tossed it downwind like nothing more than a scrap of paper. “Look,” he said, kneeling as if he was praying. “Everybody come look.”

    The other boys gathered around. There in the ground lay broken pieces of bowls with black zigzagging designs. Next to those broken bowls were human teeth, scattered like dried kernels of yellow corn. Above them the sun had begun to fade behind the tallest peak of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The sky was pale and bleak, like the bloated belly of a lizard passing above.

    “Don’t touch it,” Robbie said. “None of it. We need to tell somebody.”

    And tell they did. The entire town. Everyone, it seemed, was a witness.

    Days after their discovery, our final eighth-grade project was announced. We gathered in the gym for an assembly. The teachers brought together the boys from technical education class and the girls from home economics. We sat Indian style in ten rows beneath dangling ropes and resting basketball hoops. The room smelled like a tennis ball dipped in old socks and the cement walls were padded in purple vinyl—supposedly to minimize dodgeball injuries. I thought it looked like a loony bin.

    Mrs. Sharply, a bug-eyed woman with a neck like a giraffe’s but a torso like a rhino’s, stood before us on a wooden box. “For the remaining two weeks of your junior high career,” she said, “you will care for another life.” She then reached behind her into a paper grocery bag, revealing a sack of C & H pure cane sugar. “Sugar babies. We will be raising our very own sugar babies.”

    Older kids had gossiped about notorious school projects. We had heard stories of piglet dissections, the infamous “growing and changing” unit, rocket launches with carbon dioxide canisters, and a cow’s lung blackened and doused in cigarette smoke, but no one had warned us about this.

    “Sugar babies are a lot of responsibility,” Mrs. Sharply said as she stepped down from her box and paced with the sugar sack. She explained we were to be graded on skills like feeding, bonding, budgeting, and more. She then passed around diaper directions.

    “We do it all alone?” It was Solana Segura. She was behind me, her perpetual whimper causing every sentence to end like a little howl. “Like single moms and stuff?”

    Somewhere, down the rows, a boy croaked, “But the DNA shows I am not the father.”

    We chirped with laughter until Mrs. Sharply held up two fingers, signaling silence. “Of course not. You’ll be in committed partnerships. We’re drawing names.”

    A teacher’s aide in Payless flats scurried like a magician’s assistant toward Mrs. Sharply. She carried two Folgers cans decorated in pink and blue glitter. Mrs. Sharply set down her...
About the Author-
  • Kali Fajardo-Anstine is the author of Sabrina & Corina, a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Bingham Prize, The Story Prize, and winner of an American Book Award. She is the 2021 recipient of the Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work has been honored with the Denver Mayor’s Award for Global Impact in the Arts and the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association Reading the West Award. She has written for The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, The American Scholar, Boston Review, and elsewhere, and has received fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and Tin House. Fajardo-Anstine earned her MFA from the University of Wyoming and has lived across the country, from Durango, Colorado, to Key West, Florida. She is the 2022/2023 Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at Texas State University. She is from Denver, Colorado.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine This audiobook collection sparkles with wit and wisdom. Mostly set in Denver, Colorado, these short stories present a range of narrative styles that give them individuality and create a unique listening experience. In the title story, narrator Roxana Ortega vividly portrays various female characters, mainly Mexican-Americans. Marisol Ramirez, does excellent work in "Any Further West," her intonation beautifully capturing the 13-year-old narrator. Kyla Garcia's delivery of "Remedies" features a fine rendering of an elderly woman who dispenses herbs and advice to her family members. Often dark but always compelling, these contemporary tales encapsulate the Hispanic-American urban experience. All portray women who are navigating the terrain of the heart. Kali Fajardo-Anstine writes with grace and authenticity, and the narrators provide a wealth of fine readings. A.D.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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