American Antipodes

Anna Kazumi Stahl’s Flores de un solo día 1

Authored by: Michelle Har Kim

The Routledge Handbook of Asian American Studies

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415738255
eBook ISBN: 9781315817514
Adobe ISBN: 9781317813927

10.4324/9781315817514.ch5

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Abstract

Thirtysomething Aimée Leverier, introspective and laconic heroine of Anna Kazumi Stahl’s acclaimed Flores de un solo día (Flowers of a Single Day) is a porteña, a denizen of the port metropolis of Buenos Aires. The novel introduces us to an ordinary day in her life, one remarkably, perhaps even beautifully, organized by routine. Parsed by the well-oiled certitudes of her well-managed work schedule and family responsibilities, Aimée’s hours appear to glide by in a eurythmic grace. But today, her predictable calm is intruded upon by an unexpected letter from what seems like the other side of the world. Addressed to Aimée, it has been mailed from somewhere in North America, New Orleans to be exact, another “end” of the Americas. The document’s English is acutely foreign to Aimée’s ear and to her mundane Spanish-language universe. Trudging through it, she unsuspectingly awakens a buried memories of a voice—her own—speaking in a halting, rusty, and confusing English from what seems like miles away. It is a language new and unknown, yet old and familiar. Aimée begrudgingly starts to decipher the letter’s news about the enigmatic Louisianian inheritance, which will soon prompt Aimée to embark on a journey toward the truth about her family and its mysterious American crossings.

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