The Language of Bullets
I am seeking representation for The Language of Bullets: A Father-Daughter Memoir, complete at 93,000 words.
I grew up thinking my father was a hero for his role in the Bay of Pigs invasion, and he was, at least to Miami's Cuban exile community. For decades, I tried to reconcile his swashbuckling public persona and the brooding, violent, and the often absent man I shared with my mother and brother. Then, in the months following his death I received a box of his belongings, and the ugly truth began to fall into place. Sifting through his artifacts, I learned that the U.S. government had trained my father to kill in the name of bringing down Castro and communism. But, unlike most Cuban exile freedom fighters who moved on to have everyday lives in the U.S., my father's war with the Castro regime raged on until he died in 2012.
Growing up in Miami there were hints of my father's secret life. His heavy drinking, frequent extended "fishing" trips, and sudden temporary wealth fascinated and scared me. Like my father, I, too, harbored secrets. Outwardly, I was a traditional, lipstick-and-heels Cuban girl with boyfriends. But in secret, I was falling in love with girls, dancing at gay bars, and drinking heavily.
I feared my father —his rages, jealousy, and obsessions- but more than that, I feared that I might be just like him. Not surprisingly, my romantic relationships were a disaster. I buried my sadness, kept my partners at an emotional distance, and ran from intimacy when it threatened to expose my weaknesses. As a couples therapist, the irony was not lost on me. It took his death and the likely end to a caring and passionate relationship I was sabotaging to face the truth of my family history.
My book takes place in Cuba during the 50s, Miami through the 60s, 70s, and early 80s, and finally, Boston, where the author lives with her wife.