Hola and Goodbye
In 1920s Southern California, Lupita Camacho leaves Mexico and settles not far from the border—and so begins the journey of an American family through three generations: from fish cannery jobs and halting English, to the first-generation’s striving for assimilation, complete with dreams of kidney-shaped in-ground pools, then on to the wide-open lives of the grandchildren: a karaoke barkeep, twin female wrestling champs, a beauty who applies makeup even in the mental hospital. While Lupita adjusts to her new country, her American-born children must make peace with lives that never quite match the pages of Ladies Home Journal. Finally, though distanced from their ancestors’ culture and freed from the stigma of accented English, Lupita’s grandchildren discover that they somehow remain set apart. In fifteen exquisitely human stories, these family members face progress and failure against the backdrop of each new generation—bound together, and to us all, by the search for a place in this world.
Donna Miscolta brings the old streets to burning life. I can hear these voices, I can smell the cooking. The ghosts step out of these alleys as if they’d never left. Wonderful stuff.
— Luis Urrea, author of The Water Museum
Miscolta writes with the precision demanded by the short story, but with the range, scope, and generosity we crave in the novel, and what results is an unforgettable reading experience. Hola and Goodbye is a thoroughly satisfying book from a very talented writer.
— Lysley Tenorio, author of Monstress
Hola and Goodbye is a marvelous and assured story collection. Each story is surprising, moving, humorous, and smart. With deftness and nuance, Miscolta captures three generations of one American family and their sometimes-flawed humanity as each generation works to find their place in the world. There is a poignancy as every generation, with their singular desires, strives to create their own lives, all while experiencing different kinds of dislocation. Miscolta isn’t afraid to tackle race or gender – she is unflinching. This book tells a new kind of immigrant story, a new kind of story about what it means to be a family. This is a superb collection whose range is not only impressive, it’s remarkable.
– Nina McConigley, author of Cowboys and East Indians
Mayumi Tsutakawa delved into my mixed heritage in “Seattle author’s fiction blends her Filipino and Latino family influences,” for the Seattle Globalist, December 7, 2016.
Poet Rigoberto Gonzalez included Hola and Goodbye in “Amid Uncertain Times, 11 New and Necessary Latino Books to Read” in NBCNews.com, November 30, 2016
Necessary Fiction invited me to write about the background for Hola and Goodbye for their Research Notes section, November 25, 2016.
In this interview for La Bloga, October 17, 2016, poet Xanath Caraza asked me about who I am and how I became a writer. I also mention a few of my favorite short stories.
“Hola and Goodbye: a warm portrait of a multi-generational family” – review by Agnes Torres Al-Shibibi in the Seattle Times, January 12, 2017
New Book of the Week, Phinney Books newsletter, January 4, 2017
“Touching linked stories trace the assimilation of a Mexican clan” – review by Kathe Connair in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 9, 2016