Friday, January 20, 2017

#FridayReads: The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen

The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen 

Book description:

Liborio has to leave Mexico, a land that has taught him little more than a keen instinct for survival. He crosses the Rio Bravo, like so many others, to reach "the promised land." And in a barrio like any other, in some gringo city, this illegal immigrant tells his story.

 As Liborio narrates his memories we discover a childhood scarred by malnutrition and abandonment, an adolescence lived with a sense of having nothing to lose. In his new home, he finds a job at a bookstore. He falls in love with a woman so intensely that his fantasies of her verge on obsession.

And, finally, he finds himself on a path that just might save him: he becomes a boxer. Liborio's story is constructed in a dazzling language that reflects the particular culture of border towns and expresses both resistance and fascination.

 This is a migrants' story of deracination, loneliness, fear, and finally, love told in a sparkling, innovative prose. It's Million Dollar Baby meets The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and a story of migration and hope that is as topical as it is timeless.

Aura Xilonen is a novelist and filmmaker. She won the 2015 Mauricio Achar Prize for her first novel, The Gringo Champion.

Friday, January 13, 2017

#FridayReads: Glaxo by Hernan Ronsino

Glaxo by Hernan Ronsino 

Book description:

Glaxo is a chilling novel of betrayal, romance, and murder, from a major Latin American writer being published in English for the first time. In a derelict town in Argentina's pampa, a decades-old betrayal simmers among a group of friends. One returns from serving time for a crime he didn't commit; another, a policeman with ties to the military regime, discovers his wife's infidelity; a third lays dying. And an American missionary has been killed. But what happened among these men?

 Spinning through a series of voices and timelines, Glaxo reveals a chilling story of four boys who grow up breaking horses and idolizing John Wayne, only to become adults embroiled in illicit romances, government death squads, and, ultimately, murder. Around them, the city falls apart. Both an austere drama and a suspenseful whodunit, Glaxo crackles with tension and mystery. And it marks the stunning English-language debut of a major Latin American writer.

About the Author

Hernán Ronsino was born in Chivilcoy, a small town in Argentina's pampa, in 1975, and moved to Buenos Aires for his studies. The author of three novels and one short story collection, Ronsino is also an anthropologist and professor at the University of Buenos Aires.

Friday, January 06, 2017

#FridayReads: Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

Book description:
 “A wonderful nightmare of a book: tender and frightening, disturbing but compassionate. Fever Dream is a triumph of Schweblin’s outlandish imagination.” –Juan Gábriel Vasquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling and Reputations
A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He's not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family. Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real world, a love story and a cautionary tale.

One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language and translated into English for the first time, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel.

 About the Author 

Samanta Schweblin was chosen as one of the 22 best writers in Spanish under the age of 35 by Granta. She is the author of three story collections that have won numerous awards, including the prestigious Juan Rulfo Story Prize, and been translated into 20 languages. Fever Dream is her first novel. Originally from Buenos Aires, she lives in Berlin.

#FridayReads: Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sakaran

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sakaran 

Book description:

A gripping tale of adventure and searing reality, Lucky Boy gives voice to two mothers bound together by their love for one lucky boy.
 “A fiercely compassionate story about the bonds and the bounds of motherhood and, ultimately, of love.”—Cristina Henríquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans 
Eighteen years old and fizzing with optimism, Solimar Castro-Valdez embarks on a perilous journey across the Mexican border. Weeks later, she arrives in Berkeley, California, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. Undocumented and unmoored, Soli discovers that her son, Ignacio, can become her touchstone, and motherhood her identity in a world where she’s otherwise invisible.

 Kavya Reddy has created a beautiful life in Berkeley, but then she can’t get pregnant and that beautiful life seems suddenly empty. When Soli is placed in immigrant detention and Ignacio comes under Kavya’s care, Kavya finally gets to be the singing, story-telling kind of mother she dreamed of being. But she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else’s child. 

“Nacho” to Soli, and “Iggy” to Kavya, the boy is steeped in love, but his destiny and that of his two mothers teeters between two worlds as Soli fights to get back to him. Lucky Boy is a moving and revelatory ode to the ever-changing borders of love.

Shanthi Sekaran teaches creative writing at California College of the Arts, and is a member of the Portuguese Artists Colony and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Best New American Voices and Canteen, and online at Zyzzyva and Mutha Magazine. Her first novel, The Prayer Room, was published by MacAdam Cage. A California native, she lives in Berkeley with her husband and two children.

 

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Dipping my toes back in...

Hello, 2017!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Do not lose hope


Don't let go.
The world is still a magnificent place, filled with grandeur and beauty, big and small, of every color and every sort.
Remember you are not powerless. You are not voiceless.
 
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