Ca la Wenling

Wenling's Home | Destino, 2020

Someone from the other end of the planet decides to live in your country. Chooses you as a neighbor. Wants their children to grow up in your language and love the things you love. And works in a hair salon twelve hours a day, six days a week, bent over your feet, your hands, and your hair, while being generous enough to explain to you how their world is.

There is a lot here about Wenling’s China. A lot about the Zhejiang Province she came from one day ten years ago. But in this place where they do manicures, haircuts, and perms, there is also the aroma of elsewhere. And retirees from Barcelona’s Gràcia neighborhood, stubborn youngsters, a pregnant woman in love, tears from the Vietnam War, French cosmetics, injustices forged in America, and deep-seated racism.

That’s why it’s called Wenling’s Home: because the modest exterior conceals an enormous reserve of humanity, a catalyst for shared confidences, the unearthing of tragedies, and big bursts of laughter. A center for exchanging affections, as necessary to the neighborhood as the clinic, the school, or the market.