My Favorite Girlfriend was a French Bulldog
Legna Rodriguez Iglesias Megan McDowell
Mcsweeney's Literary Arts Fund
My Favorite Girlfriend was a French Bulldog is a novel told in fifteen stories, linked by the same protagonist, our narrator, who--in her own voice and channeling the voices of others--creates an unsparing, multigenerational portrait of her native Cuba. Though she feels suffocated by the island and decides to leave, hers is not just a political novel--nor just a queer novel, an immigrant novel, a feminist novel--but a deeply existential one, in which mortality, corporeality, bureaucracy, emotional and physical violence, and the American Dream define the long journey of our narrator and her beloved pet dog, who gives the book both its title and its unforgettable ending. In its daring style and structure--both playful and profound, youthful and mature - and its frank discussion of political and sexual identity, My Favorite Girlfriend was a French Bulldog marks the emergence of an original and essential new voice.
Legna Rodríguez Iglesias was born in 1984 in Camagüey, Cuba and now lives in Miami, where until recently she worked at a pizza parlor. She has won a number of major Cuban prizes including the Premio Iberoamericana de Cuento Julio Cortázar, the Premio Calendario de Cuento, the Premio Calendario de Poesía, and the Premio Casa de las Américas de Teatro for her first play, marking the first time the prize has been awarded to a Cuban exile. She is also the winner most recently of the 2016 Paz Prize for her book of poetry MIAMI CENTURY FOX . She has published eleven books of poetry, three books of stories, two novels, and four children’s books. The vast majority have never left the island, where her rising star has been called El tsunami Legna.