The topic of the US-Mexican border is hard to escape in recent headlines, and border towns themselves often tell a visible story of the disparity of life on either side of the imaginary line, emphasizing the difference between those who have and those who don’t. Camera Obscura Journal is lucky to be able to include in its next issue, the beautifully rendered story, Rosebud Ben-Oni’s “A Way out of the Colonia” excerpted from her novel in progress entitled The Strange and Sad Disappearance of Oni Montoya.
Excerpts from the story:
“The child could no longer sit in her mother’s lap without causing the woman pain, and had already forgotten the warmth she’d once felt there. Now she looked bewildered and frightened as the woman declared that the sky had decided to leave Matamoros.”
. . .
“Year after year, the trunk of the sapodilla tree had thickened around the middle, its color blanched by the sun to a dull brownish-grey. As if it was an old man who’d spent his life in the fields and found his soul in the very work that thickened his skin. Such men are rare, he told Oni as he shaved off the deep groves of the branch. There are very few people who reap the beauty of life from survival alone, and can wear it so visibly.”
Rosebud Ben-Oni is a writer for New Perspectives Theater, which is producing her play Quimera on the Pedernales, and has been the recipient of a Horace Goldsmith Grant, given so she could complete her first novel, which deals with her experiences as a Jew of mixed race. She has had recent work in Slice Magazine, J Journal, Wreckage of Reason: An Anthology of Contemporary XXperimental Prose by Women Writers, Arts & Letters, Identity Envy— Wanting to be Who We Are Not, and The Texas Poetry Review. Recently produced plays include Owless of Santa Clara (Snorks and Pins, Roy Arias Studios, July 2010), Nikita (Shotgun Theater Festival, the Gene Frankel Theatre, Jan 2009 and Thespian Productions, Producer’s Club, May 2009); Nary a Bodega (Leah Ryan Benefit, Producer’s Club, November 2009); The Amaranthine Thread (Leah Ryan Benefit, Producer’s Club, November 2009 and Where Eagles Dare, February 2010). She is currently finishing her first novel, which is entitled The Imitation of Crying.
Many thanks again to everyone who has supported the journal in one fashion or another!