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Works

Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad

There, in a lush landscape of fire-petaled immortelle trees and vast plantations of coffee and cocoa, where the three hills along the southern coast act as guardians against hurricanes, Krystal A. Sital grew up idolizing her grandfather, a wealthy Hindu landowner. Years later, to escape crime and economic stagnation on the island, the family resettles in New Jersey, where Krystal's mother works as a nanny, and the warmth of Trinidad seems a pretty yet distant memory. But when her grandfather lapses into a coma after a fall at home, the women he has terrorized for decades begin to speak, and a brutal past comes to light.

 

In the lyrical patois of her mother and grandmother, Krystal learns the long-held secrets of their family's past, and what it took for her foremothers to survive and find strength in themselves. The relief of sharing their stories draws the three women closer, the music of their voices, and care for one another, easing the pain of memory.

 

Violence, a rigid ethnic and racial caste system, and a tolerance of domestic abuse—the harsh legacies of plantation slavery—permeate the history of Trinidad. Secrets We Kept tells a story of ambition and cruelty, endurance and love, and most of all, the bonds among women and between generations that help them find peace with the past.

 

Published Works

Interviews

2018 She Geeks Out

2018 The Wrath-Bearing Tree

2018 Dr. Alvin

2018 NJCU

 

Nonfiction

2018 "There Are More Skeletons in the Closet: Domestic Abuse and #MeToo" ELLE Magazine. 

2018 "A life-Threatning Pregnancy on a C-Section Scar" The New York Times.

2018 "Undocumented Lovers in America" Catapult.

2018 "The Incident" PREE

2018 "Of The Island Home We Chose To Leave" LitHub.

2018 "Witness" AAWW's The Margins.

2017 "The NICU Never Leaves You" Today's Parent.

2016 "When Immigration Agents Came Knocking" The New York Times Magazine. (A version of this article appears in print on December 4th 2016 as "At the Threshold")

2015 "Milk Machine: One Donor Mom's Journey" Brain, Child.

2015 "Are You the Nanny?" Salon.com.

2015 "Tantrum" Akashic Books.

2012 "Blurry Lines" 100 Word Story.

 

Fiction

2010 "Master" Instigatorzine, Issue 5

2010 "A String of Pearls" OneHundredPlusWords.

 

Reviews

2012 "Ode to the Carribbean Writer" The Review Review.

2012 "Minimalist Poetry; Very Short Prose: A Recipe for Particular Tastes" The Review Review.

 

Interviews

2012 "Interview with Mary Cappello: Pedagogy and Creative Writing" Instigatorzine, Issue 16.

2011 “An Interview with Margaux Fragoso on the Writing Process”  The Tottenville Review, Issue 4. 2011.

 

Book Reviews

2014 “The Weight of a Feather and Other Stories” by Judy Croome

2014 “Twitterstories” by Darren Cormier

2014 “Leaving the Hall Light On” by Madeline Sharples.

2013 “Heart Warriors” by Amanda Adams