The Somnambulist

The Somnambulist

  • Publish Date: 2016-10-05
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Lara Mimosa Montes
Horse Less Press
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Poetry. Hybrid Genre. Latino/Latina Studies. The Somnambulist, a no-holds-barred monodrama, jolts the reader awake. Lara Mimosa Montes is a startling and powerful poet, who opts for vertigo, and whose greatest virtue may be her ability to perform flamboyantly while abstaining from histrionics--to recuse herself, with the exercise of a triumphant minimalism, from her own virtuoso spotlight. Braiding together numbness and desire, she brilliantly demonstrates, in the close-miked fashion of a cabaret Maurice Blanchot, the weirdness of being a witness, a quietly divulging voice. --Wayne Koestenbaum

The strange and compelling beauty of The Somnambulist lies in its 'savvy circumlocution' ofmultiple stories in language that the poet herself alternately embraces and fears, loves andreviles. 'If I look for language to find you, if I let it, language finds me everywhere,' she writes,and the line is as much of a promise as a threat. The Somnambulisttells, in fragmented parts, thestory of the poet's hustler uncle alongside her own story of becoming a poet.This is a new kindof writer's memoir--or true crime story, or coming-of- age narrative, or familyautobiography--one that navigates the tricky territory of multiple sub-genres with extraordinaryskill,sly wit, and subversive splendor. --Laura Sims

Sleepwalking backward and forward through time, Montes' language refuses poetic adornments, opting instead for a minimalist clarity that attempts to repair the obfuscation created by memory, fragmented narratives, regret, and mystifying criminal records. Rooted in the body, and aware of the stakes involved in this telling, language itself becomes figurative in the fact that it arrives to us at all . . . -- Vanessa Anglica Villarreal

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