A captivating debut collection exploring longing, loneliness, and connection, in stories that feature Cuban American characters and uncanny, speculative twists.

In the tradition of narrativa de lo inusual (narrative of the unusual), The Only Sound Is the Wind combines the fantastic with the everyday, weaving elements of magical realism and surrealist twists to sharpen our view of human (and animal) connection. In the title story, the arrival of a mail-order clone complicates a burgeoning romance; a lonely librarian longing for her homeland strikes up an unusual relationship in the award-winning “The Moth”; when humans start giving birth to puppies and kittens in “This New Turn,” a realignment of the natural order ensues; and the narrator of “Chicory” harnesses the power of invisibility to spy on her beautiful neighbor.

With a playful tenderness and satirical bent, The Only Sound Is the Wind is a lyrical exploration of solitude and communion, opening strange new worlds where characters try to make their way toward love.

These stories—these bewitching portraits of a melancholy dystopia—are spellbinding. Pascha Sotolongo holds a slightly warped mirror up to our habits and inclinations, to our love affairs and flirtations, creating fiction that haunts with its quiet introspection and dark wit. With this rich collection, Sotolongo joins the ranks of Margaret Atwood and Cristina Rivera Garza, and other masters of illusion.

Timothy Schaffert, author of The Perfume Thief

“The Only Sound Is the Wind is a captivating collision of the human and the animal, the everyday and the uncanny. Written with precision and lyric beauty, these stories have a bite and a soul, exploring the lives of Cuban Americans with both a sharp wit and a repository of compassion. Pascha Sotolongo has written a book that’s simply exceptional, filled with startling, surreal, and utterly spectacular stories that demand to be savored.”

Megan Kamalei Kakimoto, author of Every Drop is a Man’s Nightmare

The intimate, incendiary stories in Pascha Sotolongo’s elegantly woven debut collection offer an ode to the grief and exhilaration of diaspora, probe the delicate shades of gray between solitude and loneliness, and hinge, ultimately, on metamorphosis. The Only Sound is the Wind is a scar shaped like Cuba—a gorgeous scar.

Joy Castro, author of One Brilliant Flame

“Sharp and ineffable—these are immersive stories that show us how the familiar world we live in is brimming with shadowy surprises. A potent debut collection.”

Manuel Muñoz, author of The Consequences


“In this gorgeous debut, Pascha Sotolongo lyrically blends the fantastical with stories of family, love, and longing. Within these pages are vampires, ghosts, invisible daughters, and near apocalypses, and just as readily, the stories of our secrets, our joys, our fears, and our dreams. A beautiful and spellbinding collection.”

Alexander Weinstein, author of Universal Love and Children of the New World

“Pascha Sotolongo’s collection The Only Sound is the Wind gives us characters who are navigating migrations of body and spirit. Through lyrical and empathetic prose, Sotolongo makes us love these people, and we find ourselves swept along with them in each story’s inexorable movement towards their, and now our, new realities. Sotolongo’s beautiful debut is proof that the short story is not done with us yet.”

Rubén Degollado, author of The Family Izquierdo