This is a rarity in contemporary writing, a truly bilingual enterprise, as in Susana Chavez-Silverman's previous memoir, Killer Cronicas. Chavez-Silverman switches between English and Spanish, creating a linguistic mestizaje that is still a surprise encounter in the world of letters today, and the author is one of a small but growing band of writers to embrace bilingualism as a literary force. Also like Killer Cronicas, each chapter in Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles is a "cronica," a vignette that began as intimate diary entries and e-mails and letters to lovers, friends, and ghosts from the past. These episodic chapters follow Chavez-Silverman's personal history, from California to South Africa and Australia and back, from unfathomable loss to deeply felt joy. Readers drawn into this witty book will confront their own conceptions of boundaries, borders, languages, memories, and spaces. Por su white, insouciant, papery look, por su semejanza a la amapola (scentless, a fin de cuentas, no obstante esa famosa escena de la Wicked Witch of the West, purring evilly, "Poppies, poppies will put them to sleep. Sleeeep, sleep . . ."), when I leaned in to sniff, I hadn't been expecting any scent at all. Y por eso, el cool, familiar mounds of damp masa harina, Mercado Libertad en verano scent, es-por lo utterly inesperado-lo mas disturbingly, comfortingly, hechizante que tienen las paper flowers. Stay with me a while. Busquemos, together, mas strange familiars. -excerpt from chapter 1, "Diary Inside/Color Local Cronica"