Gabrielle Fuentes' debut novel “The Sleeping World” arrives on the shelves today. The novel is set during a tumultuous time in Spanish history.
It’s 1977, and Spain is transitioning from the brutal Francisco Franco regime to an uncertain democracy. Elections are on the horizon, and protests erupt throughout the country.
The narrator, Mosca, searches for her missing brother. Though thought dead, she travels throughout Spain and France looking for any trace of him. She’s accompanied by three fellow university students, who are on their own journeys. Together, they try to be punk while also dealing with the trauma of Franco’s regime.
“In some ways it’s hard to talk about the book because a lot of it is about not talking about things, like not naming things, not using words that display emotion or that can be seen as part of the former regime,” said Fuentes. “In a lot of ways, they are all on this separate journey where they need each other to keep the motor of the journey moving, but they try not to rely on each other emotionally.”
Gabrielle Fuentes is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Georgia, and while the events of this historical fiction do not match her own, her grief does. Like Mosca, she lost her brother.
“When I was writing this, it was also a way for me to grieve and I wanted to do that in a way that felt as honest as possible to what I was feeling and what Mosco might have experienced,” said Fuentes.
You can find where to order “The Sleeping World” on Fuentes’ website.