Spain, by Caren Beilin
“Here we are, in Spain.” Caren Beilin’s travelogue lays out a new path for the genre. Spain is sly cultural criticism (Blanchot to The Shining), feminist wink, post-breakup corrective, and portrait of the artist as a young mansplained woman. Our narrator finds herself, skeptically, at an artist residency in Spain, rendering her life into vivid fragments that pop and sting. With acerbic flair, Beilin swings an axe into the stuff of memoir. “I don’t care to dine with anyone,” she proclaims. Reader, pull up a chair.