In Veronica Gonzalez's lush and layered debut, Twin Time: or, How Death Befell Me (Semiotexte), a beautiful Mexican teenager flees Mexico City with a baker she hardly knows because he can make tiny mice out of chocolate and marzipan, and molasses cookies in the shape of little licking cats. A year and a half later, when her twins turn 1, she moves to London with a philandering hairdresser, taking the boy with her, leaving the girl, Mona, behind. Twenty-eight years later, upon the baker's death, Mona loses herself in a forest of mind, memory, and imagination, a fabulist labyrinth populated by bands of marauding Nordic men who insist that she make them fajitas, a Chinese goddess who wears red shoes, a lascivious, truth-telling giant, and a tribe of the feral children her mother might have had. "Maybe there are lots of different ways to know the world," Mona realizes upon returning. "Maybe the stories and dreams and make-believe help us with our facts. Maybe we all move between these different ways of knowing every day, constantly, within the measure of an instant sometimes: from dream to metaphor to myth to story...all the other tools which we can muster together to help us stay alive."
— Pam Houston
Printed from Oprah.com on Friday, December 6, 2013