Have you ever wondered what origami cranes, the Bogeyman, and Hawaiian pizza have in common? Other than being awesome, imaginative creations, they are all obsessions shared by the main character in Daniel Saldana Paris' novel Ramifications. The story behind how I came to read this book is not quite as interesting as the book itself - which includes robust language describing a series of events from the perspective of a ten-year-old trying to decipher the reasons for his mother's disappearance to a foreign town during a revolution in Mexico. My story isn't that cool, but it is still worth sharing.
A while ago, I applied for a position at Longleaf Review (reaching, I know, but I had to shoot my shot.) I didn't receive the original position, but I was lucky enough to be offered a spot on the staff as a guest blogger who would write feature posts for the blog. My new editor - a fabulous writer herself who is running the blog - gave me a list of books and asked me to pick one to review for the blog. Intrigued by the description on the book jacket as well as the prospect of reading a translation, I elected Ramifications, and I am so glad that I did. The source material contained an engaging story with poetic nuances that were only enhanced through the translation provided by Christina MacSweeney. She translated Paris' previous novel, Among Strange Victims, and their chemistry on the page is unmatched.
More regarding specifics of the novel can be viewed on the Longleaf Review blog linked here. Read that post, fold a paper crane, eat a slice of Hawaiian pizza, then read Ramifications. You won't regret it!