“Love Lies Large,” Review of LOVE WAR STORIES by Ivelisse Rodriguez

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EXCERPT: In her debut collection, Ivelisse Rodriguez shows us that love and war do not exist as binary opposites—they are not even two sides of the same coin or any other cliché that points to a line, a division between the two. Love is war, an amorphous, shifting mass that stains forever what it does not consume.

Readers should mark that a Julia de Burgos quote opens the first story, and that is a clue to what follows. The famous Puerto Rican poet—champion of women and independence, disappointed so many times by love and lovers—will show up here and there throughout the pages that follow, an inspiration to the characters as well as Rodriguez herself. That several biographies trace a straight line from de Burgos’s heartache to her early death is lost on no one.

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