Multi-Way Tales

By: Allan Guzman

Miami’s a city as varied as its inhabitants. It’s not just about the flashy supercars and silicone-infused beach babes. No, the Magic City is one of many narratives— some cheerful, some tragic, some insightful—all of them compelling.

For that very reason, editors Pedro Medina León and Hernán Vera Álvarez have gathered a host of Spanish-language authors to pen a collection of short stories central to Miami, as told by its seemingly most common denizens: the immigrants, kitchen workers, exiles and laborers who make up this colorful town.

The result, Viaje One Way, explores the wildly different lives of Latinos living in Miami, each in pursuit of their own unique ambitions. The writers who lent their talents—Eli Bravo, Carlos Gámez Pérez, Andrés Hernández Alende and Rossana Montoya among them—craft tales of discovery, tragedy, suspense and the small joys of daily life.

The fictional men and women whose lives are shared with us differ in their circumstances, but also they have—perhaps unsurprisingly—much in common, like the challenges of a new language and settling in a foreign land while struggling with menial jobs that pay barely enough to get by.

Shuffling through different genres, Viaje One Way never bores. Especially refreshing are the niche categories that one would never think apply to Miami, from the urban-tinged science fiction (“Abducciones en la Que Nunca Fue y Nunca Será Tu Ciudad” by Gámez Pérez) to the crime noir novella (“Un Encuentro” by Hernández Alende).

Viaje One Way puts a microphone to the voices of those whose lives we can most closely relate to, yet don’t hear enough from. Ultimately, the book seeks to give a fuller, more realistic definition of Miami—one that makes us aware of the countless tales waiting to be told, of the deep and complex layers that form the foundations of this city. Though the tales may be brief, the messages they convey can echo lengthily through Miami’s streets.

LOGISTICS: Viaje One Way: Antología de Narradores de Miami, available now

Allan Guzman is Manero's correspondent in Miami.