Never Imagined Me Here: ESSAYS

Forthcoming from Picador USA in January 2019, Never Imagined Me Here investigates through a personal lens questions on race, immigration, the modern reality of the American dream, and what it means to be a first- or second-generation citizen since the 2016 election.



Make your home among strangers

When Lizet—the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school—secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy—Lizet's older sister, a brand-new single mom—without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live.



United in their fierce sense of place and infused with the fading echoes of a lost homeland, the stories in this striking debut collection do for Miami what Edward P. Jones does for Washington, D.C., and what James Joyce did for Dublin: they expand our ideas and our expectations of the city by exposing its tough but vulnerable underbelly.




“A Long Day for the Captain of the Happy Hooker” · The Miami Rail, Issue 21, July 2017

“What I Still Owe You” · Saw Palm, Winter 2015

“From the Desk of David J. Hernandez, Security Officer, Westland Mall” · J. Diaz (Ed.), Fifteen Views of Miami. Orlando: Burrow Press. November 2014

“Happy Birthday Dear Dante” · Prairie Schooner, Summer 2014

“Housebreaking” · ExplorArt, July 2013

“Petting Tank" · B O D Y Magazine, Fall 2012

“Puro Amor” · Canteen, Fall 2011

“What Some Other Guys Can Call The Byron Story: Miami, 1996” · Virginia Quarterly Review, August 2011

“Just the Way She Does the Things" · Los Angeles Review, Fall 2010 and All About Skin: An Anthology of Award-Winning Fiction by Women Writers of Color, 2014

“Mister Empanada” · World Literature Today, Summer 2010

“Spring Training, 1976” · Swink, Summer 2010

“Photo Club Project” · Lowestoft Chronicle, Summer 2010

“Men Who Punched Me in the Face” · Gulf Coast, Winter/Spring 2010 and 24 Bar Blues: Two Dozen Tales of Bars, Booze, and the Blues, 2013

“How to Leave Hialeah” · Epoch, Summer 2009, 2011 PEN/O. Henry Award Anthology, 2011, and Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, 2014

“Low Tide” · Storyglossia, Summer 2009

“The Next Move” · The Southern Review, Summer 2009 and New America: Contemporary Literature for a Changing Society, 2013

“Relapsing, Remitting” · Crazyhorse, Summer 2009

“Drift” ·, August 2009

“Animal Control” · The Potomac Review, Spring 2009 and “Best of 50” Anthology, Fall 2011

“And in the Morning, Work” · Summerset Review, Spring 2009

“Discharge Summary” · Pindeldyboz, Spring 2009

“Resurrection, or: the Story Behind the Failure of the 2003 Radio Salsa 98.1 Semi-Annual Cuban and/or Puerto Rican Heritage Fesitval” · Ploughshares, Fall 2006 and Roadside Curiosities: Short Stories on American Popular Culture, 2014

“Noche Buena” · The Northwest Review, Fall 2006




“Thanksgiving Break in an Empty Dorm” · The New York Times, November 2017

“Miami Always Thinks the Storm Will Turn” · The New York Times, September 2017

“A 30-Something’s Guide to Real Estate” · The New York Times, August 2017

“What I Learned at Cowboy Camp” · The New York Times, June 2017

“A Unimaginable Day Arrives in Miami” · The New York Times, November 2016

“The Books My Father Won’t Read? Mine” · The New York Times, October 2016

“Who are These ‘Latino-Hispanics?’” The New York Times debate coverage, October 2016.

“The Student Who Didn’t do the Reading” · The New York Times debate coverage, October 2016

“Winning My Mom’s Vote” · The New York Times, Sunday Review, September 2016

“The Wedding Crasher of Lincoln, Nebraska” · The New York Times, July 2016

“Taking My Parents to College” · The New York Times, Sunday Review, August 2015

“Finding Your Way in a World That’s Not Your Own” · BookPage, August 2015 (Reprinted in Literary Hub “Best of the Literary Internet” series)

“Everyone’s Invited: Community in Lorraine Lopez’s Homicide Survivors Picnic” · Post Road Magazine, Fall 2015

“People Mover: A Miami Memory” · Miami New Times, February 2015

“Edward P. Jones" · Influenced By: A Survey of Writers on Contemporary Writers, The Believer Magazine (, January/February 2015.

“On Make Your Home Among Strangers" · 18 Short Story Writers on Why They Decided to Write a Novel,, August 14, 2014

“Facts About Neil deGrasse Tyson" · The Rumpus, July 2014

“If You Lived Here” · American Short Fiction, Spring 2014

“Leaving Hialeah: A Real-Life Epilogue” · Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, University of Nebraska Press, 2014

“Parenting ‘Sea Oak’ Style” · American Short Fiction, December 2013

“On ‘The Next Move’: Finding Your Narrator’s Voice” · New America: Contemporary Literature for a Changing Society, January 2013

“Getting Lost in the City with Edward P. Jones” · Post Road Magazine, Fall 2010

“Not Another South Florida" · FORUM, Fall 2010

“Damaris Dice: Advice From (And For) LATINA Magazine” · The Rumpus, September 2010

“Keeping Up With the Jones: In Conversation with Edward P. Jones” · Dislocate, Spring 2005