Melissa Mogollón on “Oye”

“There is a fixation on our self worth that is really tied to our physical body. … I [wrote] the extreme, the product of what that does to your psyche.”

Melissa Mogollón is the author of a new novel called Oye, out this spring from Hogarth. Meaning “listen to me,” Oye is Luciana’s demand to be heard. And hear her we do, in her one-sided conversation with her older sister, Mari. Oye is a family drama for the ages, set in the time of Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida and much of the Southeast in 2017. The family runs from the hurricane, but long before the hurricane struck they’d been running from each other and from themselves. As Oye unfolds, we learn the family’s secrets and the sources of deep intergenerational traumas that nevertheless tie them together. Mogollón and I discuss all of it in a conversation about Oye, a book that anyone with a family—which is to say everyone—will relate to. Oye is Mogollón’s debut novel. Don’t miss it.





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Writing Latinos is a production of Public Books. The show’s host is Geraldo Cadava, co-editor-in-chief of the magazine, and show’s producer is Tasha Sandoval. Our theme music is “City of Mirrors” by Dos Santos.


Featured-image photograph: Melissa Mogollón © Joy Imani Bullock.