In , Hryniewicz-Yarbrough transposes that balancing act between seemingly contradictory identities and experiences into the written word, into a collection that is as treasured for its beauty in prose as for its insights.
She has achieved, then, a most glorious act of translation, a reconciliation of complexities that speaks many mouths into one voice.
Espinoza’s narrative screams for her readers to do more for the marginalized and the struggling. One might understand her debut collection of essays as a reckoning or a theory of translation— a translation that extends far beyond the written word and into the realms of identity, memory, and what it means to be an immigrant.
is an unyielding call for compassion in a world that continuously tries to suppress the voices of marginalized groups.
The collection outlines her journey from a young boy whose silence is the only protection to a woman who refuses to let the injustices and hardships faced by the trans community go unspoken.
The speaker craves an escape from the uncertainty of life but understands the necessity to keep working for the rights of trans people and offering a voice to their experience.
The poem “I Imagine All My Cis Friends Laughing at Tranny Jokes” exemplifies the connection of the political to the personal. I don’t let them win.”In the poem “What I am Given,” Espinoza writes, “I’ve never kept a diary / Because I want to forget everything” but it is clear that this book and these poems are a diary, open to anyone willing enough to listen.
She says, “I read another comments section of an article / about trans women and I want to die. In an interview, Espinoza says that “I think I was writing this particular book on some subconscious level long before I realized what I was doing.” The fact that the book was not crafted to fit a certain aesthetic makes the collection feel honest without any underlying pretension.