Eat the Mouth That Feeds You
WINNER OF THE WHITING AWARD
PEN AMERICA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST
One of the year's most anticipated books by The Millions, Colorlines and Remezcla, and recommended by the A.V. Club!
Carribean Fragoza's debut collection of stories reside in the domestic surreal, featuring an unusual gathering of Latinx and Chicanx voices from both sides of the U.S./Mexico border, and universes beyond.
"Eat the Mouth That Feeds You is an accomplished debut with language that has the potential to affect the reader on a visceral level, a rare and significant achievement from a forceful new voice in American literature."--Kali Fajardo-Anstine, New York Times Book Review, and author of Sabrina and Corina
Carribean Fragoza's imperfect characters are drawn with a sympathetic tenderness as they struggle against circumstances and conditions designed to defeat them. A young woman returns home from college, only to pick up exactly where she left off: a smart girl in a rundown town with no future. A mother reflects on the pain and pleasures of being inexorably consumed by her small daughter, whose penchant for ingesting grandma's letters has extended to taking bites of her actual flesh. A brother and sister watch anxiously as their distraught mother takes an ax to their old furniture, and then to the backyard fence, until finally she attacks the family's beloved lime tree.
Victories are excavated from the rubble of personal hardship, and women's wisdom is brutally forged from the violence of history that continues to unfold on both sides of the US-Mexico border.
"Eat the Mouth that Feeds You renders the feminine grotesque at its finest."--Myriam Gurba, author of Mean
"Eat the Mouth that Feeds You will establish Fragoza as an essential and important new voice in American fiction."--Héctor Tobar, author of The Barbarian Nurseries
"Fierce and feminist, Eat the Mouth That Feeds You is a soul-quaking literary force."--Dontaná McPherson-Joseph, The Foreword, *Starred Review
". . . a work of power and a darkly brilliant talisman that enlarges in necessary ways the feminist, Latinx, and Chicanx canons."--Wendy Ortiz, Alta Magazine
"Fragoza's surreal and gothic stories, focused on Latinx, Chicanx, and immigrant women's voices, are sure to surprise and move readers."--Zoe Ruiz, The Millions
"This collection of visceral, often bone-chilling stories centers the liminal world of Latinos in Southern California while fraying reality at its edges. Full of horror and wonder."--Kirkus Reviews, *Starred Review
"Fragoza's debut collection delivers expertly crafted tales of Latinx people trying to make sense of violent, dark realities. Magical realism and gothic horror make for effective stylistic entryways, as Fragoza seamlessly blurs the lines between the corporeal and the abstract."--Publishers Weekly
"The magic realism of Eat the Mouth that Feeds You is thoroughly worked into the fabric of the stories themselves . . . a wonderful debut."--Brian Evenson, author of Song for the Unraveling of the World
Earn by promoting books
Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.Become an affiliate
About the Author
The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Carribean Fragoza was raised in South El Monte, California. After graduating from UCLA, Fragoza completed the Creative Writing MFA Program at CalArts, where she worked with writers Douglas Kearney and Norman Klein. Fragoza is founder of Vicious Ladies, a new website publishing womxn, queer, and non-binary critics of color. She co-edits UC Press's acclaimed California cultural journal, Boom California, and is also the founder of South El Monte Arts Posse, an interdisciplinary arts collective.
Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications, including Zyzzyva, Alta, BOMB, Huizache, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She is the co-editor of East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte and Senior Writer at the Tropics of Meta. Carribean is the Coordinator of the Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Award at Claremont Graduate University, and she lives in the San Gabriel Valley in LA County.
Fragoza's prose, a switchblade of a magical glow, cauterizes as it cuts. In a setting of barren citrus trees, poison-filled balloons, and stuccos haunted by the menace of the past, Eat the Mouth That Feeds You reinvents the sunny noir.--Salvador Plascencia, author of The People of Paper
I felt this collection deep in my bones. Like the Chicanx women whose voices she centers, Carribean Fragoza's writing doesn't flinch. It is sharp and dream-like, tender-hearted and brutal, carved from the violence and resilience of generations past and present.--Natalia Sylvester, author of Everyone Knows You Go Home
Mothers guard and whisper their ancestral heritage to their daughters, hitting up against a history of abusive men who break their own homes. The female body becomes the shield and scythe that challenges patriarchal threat; sometimes it bleeds and sometimes it resuscitates from male brutality. But almost always female characters in Fragoza's universe flex, chop, and levitate their way past men they no longer need. In ten tightly crafted stories, Fragoza presents a series of near-oral tradition narratives that lace vulnerability with strength and wounds with survival --Michael Adam Carroll, Ploughshares
Carribean Fragoza goes deep. This book makes central the lives of women, whether sourced locally or rooted in Mexico, whether alive or dead to the world, surrealistic or hyper realistic, in the flesh or as spirits centuries old. This is storytelling that astonishes . . . --Sesshu Foster, author of Atomik Aztex
In a short story collection as fierce and strange as the title might indicate, Fragoza brings to life the wants and worries of a chorus of Latina and Chicanas in the kind of magical-realist-gone-dark way that's come to reflect the realities of life along the border. A daughter takes bites out of her mother, a mother takes an axe to everything in her house, and 'Sabado Gigante' goes from mindless weekend TV to a chance to escape everything in this haunting and strange collection.--Alejandra Oliva, Remezcla
Carribean Fragoza's Eat the Mouth That Feeds You uplifts Latina and immigrant women protagonists who confront the culmination of historic and machismo violence.--Catherine Lisette Gonzalez, Colorlines
This collection establishes Carribean Fragoza as a new American voice to be reckoned with--her invigoratingly imaginative stories are nothing short of brilliant.-- J. Ryan Stradal, author of The Lager Queen of Minnesota
As someone who loves a healthy mix of tenderness, fabulism, and brutality in my short stories--and who adored Sabrina & Corina--I'm positive this will be a fave of mine for 2021! -Serena Morales, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY
Carribean Fragoza's writing is exciting and alive. Eat the Mouth That Feeds You gripped me from page one.--Emma Ramadan, Riffraff Bookstore, Providence, RI
Carribean Fragoza's writing is passionate and precise. Her gorgeously goth book of short fiction, Eat the Mouth That Feeds You, is coming out from City Lights Publishers in March.--Yxta Maya Murray, Poets and Writers Magazine