The Dead Groupies follows Esmeralda Galvao, the youngest in a Chicano family whose patriarch Roberto Galvao has just passed after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and dementia. As the family attempts to lean on each other they find that Esmeralda has fled on a road trip. Her destination: the death locales of Selena, Bruce Lee, Elliott Smith, the Von Erich Family, and Elvis Presley. At each stop, she deals with her family obligations and with her grief the best way she can, through email and through escape in the lives of those celebrity deaths for which she feels the closest.
Those dearest to Esmeralda, left behind in her father’s wake and in her absence, each have a different reaction to their loss compounded by Esmeralda’s absence. Her brother warns her with each correspondence to come home and be responsible to her family. Her sister asks for forgiveness and understanding as she reconciles with her ex-husband. Her ex is looking for a second chance and a possible future with Esmeralda. And somewhere between Echo Park and Memphis, Esmeralda must confront her own health and that she may not have time to finish her road trip of self-discovery before she has to deal with death, a real death, again.
The Dead Groupies is a fictional epistolary told through letters exchanged among the Galvao family members during the lowest and most challenging point of their lives. It explores family and grief, and it examines how the things, people, places, and objects that people trust in the face of death are often the most fragile and fleeting.
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