Ann Tashi Slater

"The heroine of the allegorical 'Old Rosa' is a peasant who amasses a large property through hard work and self-sacrifice only to see her efforts destroyed when her farm is collectivized under Castro. With her oldest son ready to join the revolution, her daughter marrying a Negro and her youngest son Arturo a homosexual, Rosa literally goes mad; the novella begins with her setting fire to her house and herself." (Publisher's Weekly)

Old Rosa

(my translation of a novella by Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas)

In the end she went out to the yard, almost enveloped in flames, leaned against the tamarind tree that no longer flowered, and began to cry in such a way that the tears seemed never to have begun, but to have been there always, flooding her eyes, producing that creaking noise, like the noise of the house at the moment when the flames made the strongest posts totter and the flashing frame came down in an enormous crackling that pierced the night like a volley of fireworks. She went on crying, and her face, shrouded in a reddish halo, looked at times like the face of a little girl lost in the middle of one of those storms that only occur in hallucinatory illustrations accompanying stories of witches and other phantasmagorias, which she had never read. But now and then, when the flames exploded almost before her eyes, singeing her lashes, her face lit up with all the features that time had undertaken to etch there. Then it could be seen, clearly, that this was an old woman...

Selected Works

Creative Nonfiction
My experience of a near-fatal illness as a Tibetan bardo. (AGNI)
A memoir piece about Darjeeling tea and my Tibetan family. (Tin House)
My Tibetan grandmother's life in Raj-era India. (Kyoto Journal)
An excerpt from the Dharamsala section of my travel memoir-in-progress. (Kyoto Journal)
Love and yearning in Andalusia and America. (New World Writing)
A collection of my Tibet-related fiction and non-fiction produced for my Rubin Museum presentation.
A story about pilgrimage, Tibet, and the quest for home. (Asia Literary Review)
A flash about how things don't always look the way we expect them to. (Big Bridge)
A story related to Darjeeling and The Tibetan Book of the Dead. (Gulf Coast)
Ranging from Havana to Tokyo to Paris, a story about the things we tell ourselves in order to survive. (Shenandoah)
YA Fiction
A story about growing up Tibetan American. (American Dragons, HarperCollins)
    "[This] enlightening anthology of 25 stories, poems and essays by Asian Americans delves deeply . . .”
--Publisher's Weekly

A novella by Reinaldo Arenas. (Old Rosa, Grove)                                 "One of Cuba's best-known writers . . . Arenas . . . writes in the poetic and fantastic style of magical realism that Garcia Marquez has made familiar. "
-- Library Journal

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