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As I approached completion of the first draft of this book, in March 2007, I received an e-mail from a half-brother in Santiago, Chile, that opened up the floodgates of new information and revelations. I decided not to pursue them in this book, which would remain true to the spirit of the mood in which I started it and to the worldview—the bastard ’s raison d’être—that explains or justifies my various prejudices, hangups , and anxieties. The new information would have to queue up and, properly, wait its own place and time in the scheme of things. Gonzalo Reyes, my half-brother, wrote in Spanish: “Estimado Guillermo , . . . we think you are our brother, and we would like to get to know you better and be in contact on a more permanent basis. . . . For me, it’s extremely important to meet you since we only found out the facts about you when our father was very ill, and he told us of your existence. We, your family [emphasis mine], are united, and we love each other as brothers and sisters, and hope that one day we’ll be able to embrace you and give your our familial affection.” Gonzalo revealed I have three brothers and two sisters, one of whom (Ximena Reyes) lives in Islip, New York. Shortly thereafter, I spoke on the phone with Ximena, who revealed that she tried for years going through the Los Angeles phone directory and calling every Guillermo Reyes listed in the area, to no avail. Only my mother’s name was listed whenever I lived with her, but even now, in Arizona, I make a point of not listing myself, and who knows why exactly? The university’s the appropriate place to find 276 Epilogue 277 Epilogue me, I suppose, which is where Gonzalo Reyes finally did reach me with the help of his Internet-savvy daughter, Javiera. That spring as well, a student director, Fernando Contreras, of New York University, decided to produce my play Deporting the Divas, in a student-driven forum for October 2007. “Edward Albee refused to give us the rights to do one of his plays,” the young director told me over the phone. I felt obliged instead to give my consent. I even announced I would gladly go see it. “I might even meet my sister,” I added, sounding casual, leaving the young director a bit perplexed . My double-tasking must seem annoying to people who want my undivided attention. But the thought had dawned on me: the double feature of watching my play and meeting with my sister seemed like the right form of drama for one short weekend. In this book, I have chronicled what I knew about the two families that reared me, the Cáceres and Bravo families, but I remained mostly ignorant of the Reyes family that gave me its name. I am clearly not ready to accept legitimacy and to embrace the idea of belonging somewhere. To do so would spoil a worldview that embraces marginality and outsiderness. Gonzalo’s e-mail certainly didn’t change that view of my growing up. When I decided to write about my family, I thought I might find through the act of writing some sense of purgation shaped by language. I didn’t expect the words alone to make me feel legitimate, or to expunge the solitude I felt as an only child. My half-brother’s e-mail didn’t reveal how the family would embrace me, or regard the many unsavory revelations in this book. When I wrote them, I didn’t think it would matter to them, but this e-mail and later my phone call to Ximena made me realize that it probably will. The one thing my brother’s unexpected communiqué helped me do in this book is soften the language in the first chapter where I had referred to the Reyes family as distant people who didn’t want to know me. A brief conversation with Ximena over the phone and my subsequent e-mails about my visit to New York erased that impression. During the Halloween weekend of 2007, I flew out to New York City to see Deporting the Divas at New York University. I flew out there as the generous playwright who had given permission to have my work performed . Life, luck, and fortune had not given me the airs of Edward Albee, who could shut down any production because he...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780299236236
Related ISBN
9780299236243
MARC Record
OCLC
644674203
Pages
278
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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