When the poet Luis Cernuda flees Spain in February of 1938, he has no idea that he will never again set foot on his native land. In exile in England, his former lover finds him a disheartening job that only intensifies his feelings of bitterness and despair: caring for 3,800 refugee children who have also fled to England after the city of Bilbao fell to Franco’s army. Seventy years later, a young Mexican filmmaker living in New York receives a mysterious email that throws his life into complete disarray and forever links him to the famous Spanish poet. The Family Interrupted (the title of Cernuda’s only play, which had gone missing for fifty years until Octavio Paz found it in a shoe box in his mother’s house) is, as Jorge Volpi once said, “A beautiful example of two decanting narratives constructed with the precision and accuracy of a watchmaker. From the opening lines, the characters’ destiny seems—almost—preordained.”
Eloy Urroz is the author of The Obstacles and Friction, both available from Dalkey Archive Press, along with several other volumes of poetry and literary criticism. He was one of the authors of the “Crack Manifesto,” a statement by five Mexican writers dedicated to breaking with the pervading Latin American literary tradition. Born in New York in 1967, Urroz is currently a professor at The Citadel in South Carolina, where he teaches 20th century Latin American Literature, 20th century Spanish Poetry, and Creative Writing.