Loud-mouthed, funny and insightful, Dovalpage takes the reader for a trip from the streets of Havana to a New Mexican town. Some stories flirt with magic realism; others explore love affairs gone wrong. A Cuban teenager suddenly goes from using ration cards to discovering credit cards. An American professor falls for a young santera. A New Age group attempts to achieve self-realization amid scarcities and blackouts.
“Although each story is self contained and can be read independently, it is when they are read together that they are most affective, unsettling, comic and heartfelt. Characters, storylines, and motifs reappear from one tale to the next, informing and enriching each other. While every story is distinct, these protagonists, who are from varied cultural and economic backgrounds, share common struggles as they stumble in search for a way to escape or a place to land, to live, to be who they are. There are no heroes in these stories but they are not villains either, much like in everyday life. Oddly, that is what is most comforting, for lack of a better word, about The Astral Plane: Stories of Cuba, the Southwest and Beyond, at least for this reader. Dovalpage's characters exude an unapologetic normalcy in their flaws that even toothless false prophets, calculating serial killers, conniving prostitutes, and scheming mothers-in-law become endearing in the end.” (Carolina Caballero LatinoLA, February 2, 2012)
Teresa Dovalpage was born in Havana, Cuba in 1966 and resides in Taos, New Mexico. She has a Doctorate in Hispanic American Literature and is a professor and the University of New Mexico in Taos.