Dispatches From Puerto Nowhere (FORTHCOMING)
a memoir by
Preorder this title now!
"Robert Lopez is one of the most exciting writers working today.”
—Jenny Offill, author of Weather and Dept. of Speculation, on A Better Class of People
That I was born Puerto Rican was happenstance, but that I have no connection to what it means is no accident. My grandparents made conscious decisions and so did my father as part of the first generation born here in the States. And none of it bothered me until recently, which is probably why I can’t quite put my finger on any of this. I’m still grappling with what I’ve lost and how I can miss something I’ve never had.
Robert Lopez’s grandfather Sixto was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, in 1904, immigrating to the United States in the 1920s, where he lived in a racially proportioned apartment complex in East New York, Brooklyn, until his death in 1987. The family’s efforts to assimilate within their new homeland led to the near complete erasure of their heritage, culture, and language within two generations.
Little is known of Sixto—he may have been a longshoreman, a painter, or a boxer, but was most likely a longshoreman—or why he originally decided to leave Puerto Rico, other than that he was a meticulously slow eater who played the standup keyboard and guitar, and enjoyed watching baseball. Through family recollection, the constant banter volleyed across nets within Brooklyn’s diverse tennis community, as well as an imagined fabulist history drawn from Sixto’s remembered traits, Robert Lopez paints a compassionate portrait of family that attempts to bridge the past to the present, and re-claim a heritage threatened by assimilation and erasure.
Praise for Robert Lopez:
“Lopez has the ability to give the reader whiplash with his unconventional and bewitching stories.”
—Karolina Waclawiak, Los Angeles Times, on Good People
“Robert Lopez is the master of deadpan dread, of the elliptical koan, of the sudden turn of language that reveals life to be so wonderfully absurd. Always with Lopez, the voice is all his—enchanting, surprising, at times devastating.”
—Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
“Robert Lopez’s strange, incantatory, visionary stories reveal the mysteries behind the ordinary world.”
—Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply and Stay Awake
“Nobody else does whatever the hell it is [Lopez]’s doing better than he does.”
—Justin Taylor, BOMB Magazine
“Robert Lopez does amazing things with prose, tone, and sparsity.”
—Vol. 1 Brooklyn, on Good People
“For my money, there are few writers who can do voice better than Robert Lopez, and few who can evoke so much of a world in so few words.”
—Blake Butler, author of Three Hundred Million
Robert Lopez is the author of five works of fiction, including Good People and All Back Full. A new book, A Better Class of People, will be published by Dzanc Books in March, 2022. He teaches at Stony Brook University and lives in Brooklyn.
Visit the Robert Lopez author page for additional details and interviews.
TERRITORY: U.S. + Canada sales only
FORMAT: Hardback (Paper-over-board)
LIST PRICE: $24.99
PRINT ISBN: 9781953387240
DIGITAL ISBN: 9781953387257
RELEASE DATE: 9/13/2022
SIZE: 5.5" x 7.5"
Printed in Canada by Marquis, with the following environmental statement:
*Printed on Rolland Enviro. This paper contains 100% post-consumer fiber, is manufactured using renewable energy - Biogas and processed chlorine free.
*FSC certified paper (inside and cover).