Synopses & Reviews
, the spellbinding literary debut by Mario Alberto Zambrano, a young girl tells the story of her family's tragic demise using a deck of cards of the eponymous Latin American game of chance.
With her older sister Estrella in the ICU and her father in jail, eleven-year-old Luz Castillo has been taken into the custody of the state. Alone in her room, she retreats behind a wall of silence, writing in her journal and shuffling through a deck of lotería cards. Each of the cards colorful images — mermaids, bottles, spiders, death, and stars — sparks a random memory.
Pieced together, these snapshots bring into focus the joy and pain of the young girls life, and the events that led to her present situation. But just as the story becomes clear, a breathtaking twist changes everything.
Beautiful full-color images of lotería cards are featured throughout this intricate and haunting novel.
"Lotería is the card-based Mexican variant of bingo and, in the hands of Zambrano, it's a deck stacked with narrative possibilities....An intriguing debut and an elegiac, miniature entry in the literature of Latin American diaspora that will break your heart."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Mario Alberto Zambrano was a Riggio Honors Fellow at the New School and recently completed his MFA at the Iowa Writers' Workshop as an Iowa Arts Fellow. He is a recipient of the John C. Schupes Fellowship for Excellence in Fiction. Lotería is his first novel.