Angel Dominguez’s Desgraciado (the collected letters), published in February by Nightboat Books, comprises a series of letters addressed to Diego de Landa, a Spanish friar who attempted to destroy the written Mayan language in Maní Yucatán in the sixteenth century. This hybrid epistolary collection navigates the shared trauma and history of colonization while creating an intimate correspondence that returns agency to the descendant of a people de Landa tried to extinguish. “Dear Diego, I write to you because there’s nothing else to do; nothing to be done, and yet we must go on. Go on living, go on writing,” Dominguez writes. Draft a story in which a character corresponds with a figure from history. Whether through letters, dreams, or ghostly visitations, what would your protagonist ask this historical figure, and what would drive this quest for answers?
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