Interviews, Excerpts, & Press
Advance Praise for Virgins & Tricksters :
Rosalie Morales Kearns' collection Virgins & Tricksters is full of succinct, smart tales rooted in and rooting around in a female-centered spirituality. Far from abstract, they are rich and strong characters and vivid particulars. A granddaughter explores the African roots of Puerto Rican santeria; we hear from God's wife and the wife of a pirate. Magic and folklore pop out of everyday encounters.
—Marge Piercy, author of 17 novels, including New York Times bestseller Gone to Soldiers
Virgins and Tricksters by Rosalie Morales Kearns, brims with color and kinetic power, with black raspberries, understory elms, Cassius Blue butterflies. Pirates leap out of a book to gorge on lemons. But solitude and yearning play out against this replete backdrop, and even magic and religion offer no cure: A woman fears but misses her revered, revolutionary husband; a little girl is startled that she won’t be ordained a priest. After a sexual encounter he knows won’t go beyond his memories, a boy watches a mechanical fortuneteller improvise human gestures. Everyone is caught gently off-guard by dreams at war with our world of rituals and of fossilizing bones, whether dinosaur or human, whether hidden in history or inside a recent photograph.
“The Associated Virgins,” a humorous gem, offers the cry: “What Alfred Kinsey did with sex, Elihu Wingate wants to do with—what?” An expert on consumer impulses, Elihu lives in an empty house until his parents and remarried ex-wife move in, and a battalion of pushy Virgin Mary statues demands a grotto. Hovering is a longing for a woman met during a distant flight. If regret spikes this poignant tale, the anchor piece, “Triptych,” is antidote: It’s a little masterpiece of carefully observed lives—Larry with breathtakingly long hair emerges as one of the most memorable characters a reader can hope to find—and when divergent paths merge, the book concludes with a satisfying upsweep: Solitary beings settle inside mystery. Virgins and Tricksters contains the line “water and a pinch of salt, this is what we’re made of,” but it also points at the byways where connection can unleash aché, “the vital life force, present in everything.”
—Katherine Vaz, author of Saudade, Mariana, Fado & Other Stories, and Our Lady of the Artichokes