…Rafael Rosales and the Infinitesimal Hope is now entitled Rooting for Rafael Rosales. I like the new title because I had trouble pronouncing “infinitesimal” without slowing way down and concentrating. This appropriately echoes one of my favorite parts of the book, when the non-baseball-playing hero of the book is arguing for bees and against her father’s GMO-manufacturing business, and has to use the word “neonicotinoids” comfortably.
This is a strange, hard-to-describe books and like a lot of my books I find my honed elevator speech misses a huge chunk of the book. Maybe that’s because I write books intuitively (i.e., I make them up as I go) and they, like life, end up being about a lot of different things. This one has two point-of-view characters: Rafael and Maya. Rafael is a boy growing up in the Dominican Republic circa 2005-2010 and we see his rise from the streets to a baseball academy. Maya is a girl living in Minneapolis in the summer of 2015, when she has a chance meeting with Rafael that leads to her following his minor league career from afar. But she has her own story: she is deeply worried about the planet, and invests her energy in helping bee populations as one of the few things she can do anything about. But like a lot of people, she realizes her symbolic gestures are not only overwhelmed by greater forces, but that her very life is tied up with those forces.
The original linchpin was a fantastical/superstitious belief that Rafael’s fate would would help the world, but that never quite fell into place as it should have. I like the idea of “Sabremancy,” as I called it, but it really never suited the science-driven Maya to have such magical beliefs. And yet Maya, like a lot of people, finds her own sense of hope about things rising and falling with the tides of her favorite player’s career.
So that’s the new title, and I think a release date and cover are coming soon. Stay tuned.