If you had the power to prevent a world-ending ecological disaster by altering not only the past but your gender, would you do it?

Living Writers 2022 - Tentacle Book Cover

Plucked from her life on the streets of post-apocalyptic Santo Domingo, a young maid named Acilde Figueroa finds herself at the heart of a voodoo prophecy: Only she can travel back in time and save the ocean — and humanity — from disaster. But first she must become the man she always was — with the help of a sacred anemone.

Tentacle is an electric novel with a big appetite and a brave vision, plunging into questions of climate change, technology, Yoruba ritual, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism, and contemporary art. Bursting with punk energy and lyricism, it’s a restless, addictive trip: The Tempest meets the telenovela.

Living Writers 2022 - Tentacle Author, Rita Indiana

Born in the Dominican Republic, Rita Indiana is a musician as well as the author of eight books. Her novel, Papí, made World Literature Today’s list of 75 Notable Translations and has been made into a film directed by Noelia Quintero. Tentacle won the Grand Prize of the Association of Caribbean Writers.

Papí will screen on Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. in Golden Auditorium (Little Hall) as part of Colgate’s Friday Night Film series. Director Noelia Quintero will be present for a Q&A session following the screening. 

“The sea is a space of connection to the other islands of the Caribbean and to the west coast of Africa, but it’s also a space of division. It’s a space of trauma, if we think about the transatlantic slave trade, but it’s also a space of possibility,” says Paul Humphrey in this podcast about how he reads and teaches Rita Indiana’s sea-saturated novel, Tentacle.

Meet Rita Indiana at Colgate on Nov. 3

We’re sorry that you missed Rita Indiana’s visit. If you’d like to see an archived copy of her presentation, please join the Living Writers mailing list.

Tell Us What You Think

We're sorry that you missed our Nov. 1 discussion of Tentacle. Guests included Paul Humphrey, Associate Professor of LGBTQ Studies and Africana and Latin American Studies, and Marisol Fonseca Malavasi, Visiting Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures. You can listen to a recording of the first 24 minutes below.

Follow the discussion on Twitter @ColgateLW using the hashtags #ColgateLivingWriters and #Tentacle

Go Beyond the Book

  • “A dry, sardonic tone anchors the pulpy narrative, with its bloody violence, brutish sex and futuristic flourishes, all seasoned with bitter humour and a hint of the occult,” writes Suzi Feay in this Guardian review of Tentacle.
  • “What was most attractive about music was that it gave her a chance to move beyond the sometimes limited, academic circles of literature and reach as many people as possible,” writes Daniel Alarcón in this New Yorker retrospective of Rita Indiana’s music.
  • “I’m Dominican, a woman, a queer woman and a storyteller, whether musical or novelized,” says Rita Indiana in this interview with Remezcla.

In a few years people will talk about the fish in the sea as though they were unicorns.


Living Writers is organized by the Department of English at Colgate University with generous support from the Olive B. O’Connor Fund as well as the President and Provost/Dean of the Faculty. Support from the Africana & Latin American, LGBTQ, and Film and Media Studies programs helped make this event possible.


Contact livingwriters@colgate.edu

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