A Woman’s Story
A collection of short stories
by Francine Rodriguez
978-1-948692-60-1 paper 19.95
978-1-948692-61-8 ebook 9.99
5½ x 8½, 294 pp.
Inspired by real-life events, this is a gritty and dark crime thriller, telling of a warrior’s journey. The traveler on this journey is an of a one-of-a-kind disconcerting individual, a transgender, and biracial woman, who is isolated, lonely, and emotionally troubled, a stranger in her own body.
Her crimes of violence are at first, life-preserving, and later become opportunistic as she fights the obstacles that fuel her fear of returning to childhood misery. Our warrior begins her journey in a notorious prison in the Philippines where she is locked up for murder at a young age, with the belief that she will not survive. She is noticed by the prison’s warden and selected to fight in the Muay Thai underground prison circuit, where prison and government officials conduct rigged fights for betting purposes.
When a promised journey outside of the Philippines allows her to leave the prison with her warden, she escapes to Bangkok, transitions sexes, and lives, and works in the district infamous for the tourist sex trade. Seeking to find her father, an ex-serviceman, she comes to the United States to begin her search. Here through misrepresentation, and overcoming countless obstacles, she becomes a police officer, and her new identity leaves her living her life in turmoil, struggling to find where she belongs in a field ruled by toxic masculinity, corruption, and cruelty. She attempts to exact justice for victimized children who have been cast aside by the system.
A Woman’s Story tells the stories of Latina women’s lives. Depicting conflict in gender bias, experiences of exploitation, violence, and powerlessness, sometimes resulting in pain and despair in their turbulent world. But these stories also tell of these women’s celebration of life itself that empowers them and gives them the will to sustain. These stories resonate on a deeply emotional level.
“Finding my Father” does not appear in A Woman’s Story, but it is set in the same time and place, and carries the same authorial voice. It works as a great introduction to the world Francine writes about.
Praise for the stories in A Woman’s Story
“Smiley and the Laughing Girl” By Francine Rodriguez
WHY WE LIKE IT:
We love Rodriguez’s honest, down to earth, totally unaffected style and her deep investment in her characters. The story falls under the classification of ‘dirty realism’ (with a feminist slant) but in the end it resists any kind of definition. All we can call it is ‘good writing’.—Fleas On The Dog, Vol 7
Wow! Once again author Francine Rodriguez proves that she is the eyes and ears of Latina Realism. Her series of short stories in A Woman’s Story draws on her inner-city life experiences, revealing extraordinarily provocative vignettes of love, sex, violence, and injustice. Francine’s vivid descriptions of the lives of women as heroines and as victims stir all one’s emotions. My soul is aroused by her captivating imagination portrayed in the half-fiction, half real-life personalities. ¡Bien hecho!—Rocky Barilla, International Society of Latino Authors, author of Esmerelda
Through a brutally honest approach, Rodriguez’s words guide you on a timely and unfiltered expedition of the contemporary social landscapes Latinx women traverse in the U.S. in the early 2000s. Her writings explore the delicate and very real balancing act they must display being the human at the center of frenzied collisions in culture, community, socio-economics, sexuality, and gender. Often gentle, and painful, the intensity of her stories shine through with the same intensity with which Latinx women must face society in today’s America.—Nikolas Gonzales, World History Adj. Professor, World History Department- Bunker Hill Community College, and author of Moraga Deconstructed: Illuminations in Mexican-American Heritage
In a unique and unlikely feminist reclaiming of dirty realism, Francine Rodriguez’s A Woman’s Story takes us on an intimate yet dystopian journey into the effects and innerworkings of identity-based marginalization. … These silenced memories give us insight into many other Herstories and truths that may never be known not only because they were once forbidden, but because they are still mostly inaccessible to a mass U.S. American audience.—Liliana Conlisk Gallegos, Ph.D., Associate Professor – Decolonial Media Studies Department of Communication Studies, CSU San Bernardino