Faces in the Crowd
Valeria Luiselli, Christina MacSweeney
In New Mexico, she is a young mother. Stuck in a marriage that’s deteriorating, unable to shake the feeling that her house and belongings are trapping her, she is increasingly drawn to reflect on who she was before: when she worked as an editor in New York, rarely in her own apartment, always seeking new places to call home.
As she folds time, seeking to inhabit her past, she begins to encounter ghosts. Time and again, a solitary man appears – Gilberto Owen – a lesser known poet of the Harlem Renaissance, and an obsession of her youth. He is living on the edge of Harlem’s social scene at the beginning of the Great Depression, anticipating death, and tracing spectral visions of his own – among them, a young woman, travelling alone, on the subway.
Valeria Luiselli’s daring debut, Faces in the Crowd is a meditation on time, hauntings, and the elusive, transitory identities we assume.
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