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Author: Sabrina Vourvoulias

Sabrina Vourvoulias is the author of Ink (Crossed Genres, 2012), a novel that draws on her memories of Guatemala's armed internal conflict, and of the Latinx experience in the United States. It was named to Latinidad's Best Books of 2012. Her short stories have appeared at Uncanny Magazine,, Strange Horizons, Crossed Genres, and in a number of anthologies. She is a regular columnist at Philadelphia Magazine and City and State PA, and an occasional op-ed contributor at The Guardian US. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter and a dog who rules the household. You can find her online at, on Twitter @followthelede and on Facebook @officialsabrinavourvoulias.

La Gorda and the City of Silver


I was born on a Wednesday, in middle of a chapuzón.

The sudden squall of sky water bears little resemblance to a thunderstorm – it’s more like a vertical flood, though very brief.

I considered Chapuzón for my luchador name – I had poured out of my mother with the same fulminating relentlessness and washed her into the hereafter – but fate took a hand, and the name is still available to anyone who wants to design its mask and come up with some signature moves.

Fate always takes a hand and leads us where she will. Fate is not funny, although she thinks she is as she laughs at us. When I meet her face-to-face I intend to talk to her about it. Maybe I’ll body slam her while I’m at it.

But until then I’m stuck with the name she set out for me when I packed on weight on my way to adolescence: La Gorda. The Fat One.

It’s okay. I am fat, though not compared to the luchadores in my father’s company. But they’re men and are allowed to be corpulent. They’re also allowed to be luchadores in the ring and on the screen and in the cantina – where they swallow their tequilazos through the mouth holes of their masks because otherwise no one would recognize them and they’d have to pay.

There is no ring for me, and no movies, because women are not luchadores. That’s what El Patojo and El Súper Fly and El Diablo Colorado tell me when they come to my father’s house for the Sunday tamalada. I make the tamales, of course, and after they’ve eaten their fill my father gets out his camera and films another one of their episodic adventures right in our backyard. Read La Gorda and the City of Silver

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