Originally published in Willow Springs 69
From the author
Notes on “Sin-Tra-La!”
Here in Los Angeles I was spending a lot of time with young people and with families who’d survived or had perpetrated violence or had to mourn the violent death of people they loved. And there were the sidewalk memorials, the car washes to raise money for funeral expenses, and all the emotions that come up at these times. Maybe it was all percolating in the back of my head, the different ways of mourning and the rituals and behaviors we fall back on to cope with grief and to find the words and actions we offer the grieving.
Notes on Reading
About Diane Lefer
Diane Lefer is an author, playwright, advocacy journalist, and activist whose most recent short story collection, California Transit, was awarded the Mary McCarthy Prize and published by Sarabande Books. With Colombian exile Hector Aristizábal she is co-author of the nonfiction book, The Blessing Next to the Wound (Lantern Books, 2010) while their theatrical collaboration, Nightwind, has toured the world, including for human rights organizations in Colombia and Afghanistan, as part of the global movement to end the practice of torture. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Diane taught for 23 years in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has been a guest artist at colleges, writing conferences, and festivals and has led arts-based workshops for young people in foster care as well as those caught up in the juvenile in/justice system. In 2011, she offered Spanish-language workshops at the International Theatre Festival for Peace in Barrancabermeja, Colombia and will do so in February 2012 in Cochabamba, Bolivia for Educar es Fiesta, a nonprofit that works with families in crisis, including children who live in the streets. On her return she hopes to finish the first draft of a novel-in-progress and plunge into publicity for Nobody Wakes Up Pretty, her short crime novel which Rainstorm Press will publish at the end of May.