Fifty micro stories that weave a shared emotional pattern in which every word records a significant act, be it revealing it, witnessing or sometimes even concealing it. Exploiting the familiar tropes of lust and adventure, the compilation features a series of discrete narrators who put forward original, contrasting and sometimes even contradicting perspectives about largely commonplace situations, appealing above all to the morbid voyeurism inherent to Western society. Tales of Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges is a book about human relations, emotions and absence.
Caught within the restrictions of a deliberately compact format, the collection is held together by a constant game of exposure and concealment in which each story told carries with it a number of uncertainties, which are never pursued and often remain unvoiced. Thus, great significance is attached not only to every uttered word but also to the ones that are left out of these hyper-short compositions.
In structural terms, the stories span from one line to two pages long. Loosely arranged in line with a thematic coherence, they are meant to evoke a feeling rather than to convey a concrete message. Consequently, the collection is moved forward by a sentimental evolution that takes the reader from love to panic, lust, confusion and hate through the intimations of narrators who remains deeply personal, despite recurrent shifts of tenses and persons.
Similarly, part of the experimental element in the proposal is the combination of Spanish and English resources in the exploration of the issues central to the project. In this respect, proficiency in both languages would be advantageous to identify the specific characteristics—the up and down sides, as it were—of the two verbalisations. Nevertheless, a beautifully insightful preface by Loretta Collins Klobah goes some way to bridge the gap for English speakers, while the visual aspect of the texts displayed on facing pages remains telling, as it exposes graphically the degree to which linguistic elements can be mirrored.
Finally, where possible, the original versions of the stories have been given priority over the translations, featuring first regardless of the language in which they are written. Sometimes, however, the order follows more arbitrary notions, as a good number of the narrations were developed in both languages simultaneously.