POSSESSIONS tells the story of Meli and Lila, the Puerto Rican grandmother and her American granddaughter, separated for fifteen years by Lila's mother's buried hostility. Their secret reunion and Meli's death, fuel Lila's search through her grandmother's possessions to uncover the pain behind the strained family relationships. As Lila immerses herself in Meli's life, many questions arise: Did the film Meli intend to make showing her naked body ever get made and does it still exist? What was Meli's connection with the filmmaker, Marcos and with the model, Elaine? Why did Lila's mother, Felicia, reject her own mother? Meli's journals and tapes take Lila on a virtual journey from the luminous Northern California seashore to a surreal New York City of the 1950's, from the haunted Catholic girlhood in Puerto Rico to the revelatory birthing of a child in the Northern Plains, from innocence to violence and from terror to art.
Through shifts in time and viewpoint, and through different narratives, Lila learns about Meli, the introverted Puerto Rican girl attending Catholic school, who is passionate about art and admires American culture. She reads about Meli's relationship with Papi, her father, who takes her to college in the U. S. Lila discovers the artwork Meli created in New York City and begins to understand Meli's longing for greater freedom in her life as an artist, despite being haunted by her history and the limitations of her restrictive upbringing.
Carmen de Monteflores is a native Puerto Rican writer living in the U. S. She is the author of the well-received novel, Cantando Bajito/ Singing Softly. She wrote and produced the play, Blood Lines, presented twice in San Francisco, and has written articles, poetry and essays. She is currently at work on a third novel about a teacher in Puerto Rico during the turbulent 1930s and a collection of short reflective essays inspired by shamanism. de Monteflores weaves fictional stories about the island where she grew up and her experiences as a Latina in the U. S. in vivid images informed by her long training in art and by her poetic imagination. A mother, grandmother, lesbian, artist, psychotherapist, lover of nature and beauty, and student of shamanism, de Monteflores brings all of her lived experience to her rich and layered writing.
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