Friday, February 14, 2014

#FridayReads: Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

Book list material:

Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

A haunting story of love and survival that introduces an unforgettable literary heroine

Ladydi Garcia Martínez is fierce, funny and smart. She was born into a world where being a girl is a dangerous thing. In the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, women must fend for themselves, as their men have left to seek opportunities elsewhere. Here in the shadow of the drug war, bodies turn up on the outskirts of the village to be taken back to the earth by scorpions and snakes. School is held sporadically, when a volunteer can be coerced away from the big city for a semester. In Guerrero the drug lords are kings, and mothers disguise their daughters as sons, or when that fails they “make them ugly” – cropping their hair, blackening their teeth- anything to protect them from the rapacious grasp of the cartels. And when the black SUVs roll through town, Ladydi and her friends burrow into holes in their backyards like animals, tucked safely out of sight.

While her mother waits in vain for her husband’s return, Ladydi and her friends dream of a future that holds more promise than mere survival, finding humor, solidarity and fun in the face of so much tragedy. When Ladydi is offered work as a nanny for a wealthy family in Acapulco, she seizes the chance, and finds her first taste of love with a young caretaker there. But when a local murder tied to the cartel implicates a friend, Ladydi’s future takes a dark turn. Despite the odds against her, this spirited heroine’s resilience and resolve bring hope to otherwise heartbreaking conditions.

An illuminating and affecting portrait of women in rural Mexico, and a stunning exploration of the hidden consequences of an unjust war, PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and determination.

Jennifer Clement's new novel Prayers for the Stolen was awarded the NEA Fellowship in Literature 2012 and will be published by Hogarth (USA and UK) in February 2014. The book has also been purchased by Suhrkamp, (Germany), Editions Flammarion, Gallimard (France), De Bezige Bij (Holland), Cappelen Damm (Norway), Hr Ferdinand (Denmark), Bonniers Förlag (Sweden), Laguna (Serbia), Euromedia (Czech Republic), Ikar (Slovakia) Lumen (Spain/Mexico), Guanda (Italy), Like (Finland), Libri (Hungary), Bjartur (Iceland),Rocco (Brazil),Israeli Penn Publishing (Israel, Muza (Poland) and Sindbad (Russia).

Jennifer Clement studied English Literature and Anthropology at New York University and also studied French literature in Paris, France. She has an MFA from the University of Southern Maine.

Clement is the author of the cult classic memoir Widow Basquiat (on the painter Jean Michel Basquiat) and two novels: A True Story Based on Lies, which was a finalist in the Orange Prize for Fiction, and The Poison That Fascinates.

She is also the author of several books of poetry: The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S. Merwin); Newton's Sailor; Lady of the Broom and Jennifer Clement: New and Selected Poems. Her prize-winning story A Salamander-Child is published as an art book with work by the Mexican painter Gustavo Monroy.

Jennifer Clement was awarded the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Fellowship for Literature 2012. She is also the recipient of the UK's Canongate Prize. In 2007, she received a MacDowell Fellowship and the MacDowell Colony named her the Robert and Stephanie Olmsted Fellow for 2007-08. Clement is a member of Mexico's prestigious "Sistema Nacional de Creadores."

Jennifer Clement was President of PEN Mexico from 2009 to 2012. She lives in Mexico City, Mexico and, along with her sister Barbara Sibley, is the founder and director The San Miguel Poetry Week.

via Amazon

2 comments:

  1. Every time I visit this blog I get so inspired! Thank you so much! I really enjoyed Jennifer Clement's poetry.

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  2. Inside the capital Kambei, Kikuchiyo and Shichiroji find all three of the Ukyo decoys, yet thanks to Kikuchiyo's farmer's heritage can smell the stink of work on them. The corn pip swordsman cuts them all down and fights with the three samurai, but to our surprise Kyuzo is alive swiftly slices him. The gunfire is raining down on the four samurai and Katsushiro's sword breaks, leaving him with only a gun by his feet to save Kambei. He riddles the opponent with bullets but they go completely through their target killing him and Kyuzo who had stepped in to save Kambei as well, which makes Katsushiro the killer of his own comrade. This was the first time I can remember a main character getting killed with friendly fire and dying in such a shocking manner that it left me speechless. I'm not usually effected too much when a character is killed off but watching both Kyuzo and Heihachi die so close together was gut wrenching and disheartening. Leaving you with a pending dread of which of the four remaining samurai will actually make it out alive.

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