In HOLA AND GOODBYE, language, race, and gender conspire to thwart an easy sense of identity for each of three generations of a family seeking to belong in America. They must balance loss of the traditional and the familiar with the exhilarating promise of the new. In the 1920s Southern California, Lupita Camacho settles not far from the border—and so begins the journey of an American family: from fish cannery jobs and halting English of the newcomers to their children’s goals of dancing championships and dreams of kidney-shaped pools, then on to the wide-open lives of the grandchildren: a karaoke barkeep, twin female wrestling champs, a mentally fragile beauty. Lupita’s American-born children must make peace with lives that never quite match the pages of Ladies Home Journal. Lupita’s English-only-speaking grandchildren discover that they somehow remain not quite “at home in America.” Each of these generations must respond to a particular question: What’s it like to move to a new country and adapt to a new language and culture? What happens to your dreams when opportunities and expectations of you are low? How do you learn to claim your space when you don’t seem to fit? The answers bind these family members to each other, even as they break away to their separate lives.
About the Author:
Donna Miscolta grew up in National City, CA, fifteen miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. Her mixed heritage (Filipino and Mexican) shapes her American experience and that of the characters she creates. Her short story collection Hola and Goodbye, about three generations of a Mexican-American family, was selected by Randall Kenan for the Doris Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman. It was published by Carolina Wren Press in 2016 and won the Independent Publishers gold medal for Best Regional Fiction - West Pacific. She is also the author of the novel When the de la Cruz Family Danced (Signal 8 Press, 2011) about a Filipino-American family. Her stories and essays have appeared in a variety of journals, including the anthology Memories Flow in Our Veins: Forty Years of Women’s Writing from Calyx. Excerpts from her novel-in-progress The Education of Angie Rubio appear in The Adirondack Review and the Santa Ana Review. She has won grants and fellowships from Artist Trust, 4Culture, the Bread Loaf/Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the City of Seattle, as well as residencies from Anderson Center, Artsmith, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Ragdale, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She’s a decades-long resident of Seattle and has worked as a project manager in local government there for nearly thirty years.