Showing posts with label Arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arts. Show all posts

Friday, April 11, 2014

#FridayReads: With My Dog Eyes by Hilda Hilst

Book list material:

A short, stunning book by a Brazilian master of the avant-garde.

Something has changed in Amos Keres, a university mathematics professor—his sentences trail off in class, he is disgusted by the sight of his wife and son, and he longs to flee the comfortable bourgeois life he finds himself a part of. Most difficult of all are his struggles to express what has happened to him, for a man more accustomed to numbers than words. He calls it "the clearcut unhoped-for," and it's a vision that will drive him to madness and, eventually, death. 

Written in a fragmented style that echoes the character's increasingly fragile hold on reality, With My Dog-Eyes is intensely vivid, summoning up Amos's childhood and young adulthood—when, like Richard Feynman, he used to bring his math books to brothels to study—and his life at the university, with its "meetings, asskissers, pointless rivalries, gratuitous resentments, jealous talk, meglomanias." 

Hilst, whose father was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, has created a lacerating, and yet oddly hopeful, portrayal of a descent into hell--Amos never makes sense of the new way he sees things, but he does find an avenue of escape, retreating to his mother's house and, farther, towards the animal world. A deeply metaphysical, formally radical one-of-a-kind book from a great Brazilian writer.

HILDA HILST was born in 1930 in Jaú, Brazil. Hilst was a prolific author whose work spans many different genres, including poetry, fiction, drama and newspaper columns. Born the heiress to a coffee fortune, she abandoned Sao Paolo and promising law career in the 1960s, moved to the countryside, and built herself a house, Casa do Sol, where she lived until the end of her life with a rotating cast of friends, lovers, aspiring artists, bohemian poets, and dozens of dogs. She received many major literary prizes over the course of her career, including Brazil's highest honor, the Premio Jabuti. Her work has been translated into French, German, and Italian. She died in 2004, at the age of 73. 

ADAM MORRIS is a PhD candidate in Latin American literature at Stanford University.  An excerpt from his translation of With My Dog-Eyes won the 2012 Susan Sontag Foundation Prize for Literary Translation.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

#NonfictionNovember – 8 Recommended (Fiction & Nonfiction) Book Pairings

I found this challenge over at Regularrumination to find pairings for nonfiction with its complimentary fiction reads pretty interesting. Here are my recommendations:

Pairing 1:
In the Time of the Butterflies
 (Photo: Wikipedia)
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
with
The Last Playboy: The High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa by Shawn Levy

Pairing 2:
When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir by Esmeralda Santiago
with
If I Bring You Roses by Marisel Vera

Pairing 3:
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel
with
The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border by Teresa Rodriguez, Diana Montané and Lisa Pulitzer

Pairing 4:
Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
with
Haiti: The Tumultuous History - From Pearl of the Caribbean to Broken Nation by Philippe Girard

Pairing 5:
We The Animals by Justin Torres
with
For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey by Richard Blanco

Cover of "Cherries in Winter: My Family's...
Cover via Amazon
Pairing 6:
Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times by Suzan Colon
with
The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico: A Novel by Sarah McCoy

Pairing 7: 
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
with
Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas

Pairing 8:
The Scent of Lemon Leaves by Clara Sanchez and Julie Wark
with
The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Peron's Argentina by Uki Goni

Pairing 9:
The Woman in Battle: The Civil War Narrative of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Cuban Woman and Confederate Soldier by Loreta Janeta Velazquez
with
Ines of My Soul: A Novel by Isabel Allende

Friday, August 23, 2013

#FridayReads: Claire of the Sea Light By Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat by David Shankbone
Edwidge Danticat by David Shankbone (Photo: Wikipedia)
She needs no introduction - put it on your must-read:


From the best-selling author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak!, a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small town where a little girl, the daughter of a fisherman, has gone missing.

Claire Limyè Lanmè--Claire of the Sea Light--is an enchanting child born into love and tragedy in a seaside town in Haiti. Claire's mother died in childbirth, and on each of her birthdays Claire is taken by her father, Nozias, to visit her mother's grave. Nozias wonders if he should give away his young daughter to a local shopkeeper who lost a child of her own, so he can give her a better life. But on the night of Claire's seventh birthday, when he makes the wrenching decision to do so, she disappears. 

As Nozias and others look for her, painful secrets and startling truths are unearthed among a host of men and women whose stories connect to Claire, her parents, and the town itself. Told with the piercing lyricism and economy of a fable, Claire of the Sea Light explores what it means to be a parent, child, neighbor, lover, and friend, while indelibly revealing the mysterious connections we share with the natural world and with one another, amid the magic and heartbreak of ordinary life. 

EDWIDGE DANTICAT is the author of numerous books, including Brother, I'm Dying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a National Book Award finalist; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; and The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the inaugural Story Prize. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and elsewhere.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Possible Future? The End of the Bookshop

Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There's magic in that. 

It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. 

You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. 

That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that... there are many kinds of magic, after all.” ― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus



The Last Bookshop imagines a future where physical books have died out. thelastbookshop.co.uk


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lit Links & Scoops


- Isabel Allende: By the Book: The author of the forthcoming novel “Maya’s Notebook” says reading Gabriel García Márquez made her want to become a writer: “I thought, ‘If this guy can do it, so can I.’ ”

Emilio Gil on Modern Spanish Book Design

- Lulu Delacre, Bilingual Children’s Book Author & Illustrator Says, “The Power is in Numbers

Top 20 Spanish-Language Novels Written Since 1982, (written in 2007)

- What librarians consider when putting together a Spanish-language children’s book collection

- If you have not see the documentary, The Central Park Five, you must watch it. It's online and in Spanish.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Book: Alejandro Zambra’s Ways of Going Home

Español: Mapa de la comuna de Santiago, en San...
Mapa de la comuna de Santiago, en Santiago de Chile (Photo : Wikipedia)
Out this month,"Alejandro Zambra’s Ways of Going Home begins with an earthquake, seen through the eyes of an unnamed nine-year-old boy who lives in an undistinguished middleclass housing development in a suburb of Santiago, Chile

When the neighbors camp out overnight, the protagonist gets his first glimpse of Claudia, an older girl who asks him to spy on her uncle Raúl.

In the second section, the protagonist is the writer of the story begun in the first section. His father is a man of few words who claims to be apolitical but who quietly sympathized—to what degree, the author isn’t sure—with the Pinochet regime

His reflections on the progress of the novel and on his own life—which is strikingly similar to the life of his novel’s protagonist—expose the raw suture of fiction and reality.

Ways of Going Home switches between author and character, past and present, reflecting with melancholy and rage on the history of a nation and on a generation born too late—the generation which, as the author-narrator puts it, learned to read and write while their parents became accomplices or victims. It is the most personal novel to date from Zambra, the most important Chilean author since Roberto Bolaño."

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

How Not to Suck at Social Media

This cute little Youtube video, a guide to not sucking at Instagram, shares the fundamentals of social media sharing done right:



Monday, August 13, 2012

New Book: The Distance Between Us: A Memoir By Reyna Grande

My coworker who is a graphic designer walked by my desk as I was writing this one late evening and stopped short to tell me she loved the cover of The Distance Between Us: A Memoir By Reyna Grande. Now if that's not a compliment to one designer from another, I don't know what is. 


Reyna Grande is the author of two award-winning novels. Across a Hundred Mountains received an American Book Award, and Dancing with Butterflies was the recipient of an International Latino Book Award. Reyna lives in Los Angeles.



Mago pointed to a spot on the dirt floor and reminded me that my umbilical cord was buried there. “That way,” Mami told the midwife, “no matter where life takes her, she won’t ever forget where she came from.”


Then Mago touched my belly button . . . She said that my umbilical cord was like a ribbon that connected me to Mami. She said, “It doesn’t matter that there’s a distance btween us now. That cord is there forever.”


When Reyna Grande’s father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous trek across the border to the United States, he promises he will soon return from “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) with enough money to build them a dream house where they can all live together. His promises become harder to believe as months turn into years. When he summons his wife to join him, Reyna and her siblings are deposited in the already overburdened household of their stern, unsmiling grandmother.


The three siblings are forced to look out for themselves; in childish games they find a way to forget the pain of abandonment and learn to solve very adult problems. When their mother at last returns, the reunion sets the stage for a dramatic new chapter in Reyna’s young life: her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father.


In this extraordinary memoir, award-winning writer Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years, capturing all the confusion and contradictions of childhood, especially one spent torn between two parents and two countries. Elated when she feels the glow of her father’s love and approval, Reyna knows that at any moment he might turn angry or violent. Only in books and music and her rich imaginary life does she find solace, a momentary refuge from a world in which every place feels like “El Otro Lado.”


The Distance Between Us captures one girl’s passage from childhood to adolescence and beyond. A funny, heartbreaking, lyrical story, it reminds us that the joys and sorrows of childhood are always with us, invisible to the eye but imprinted on the heart, forever calling out to us of those places we first called home. 


Become a Fan on Facebook or follow Reyna via Twitter @reynagrande.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Win a Copy of Count on Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships by Las Comadres Para Las Americas & Adriana V. Lopez

Next month, "beloved bestselling Latino authors, including Esmeralda Santiago, Carolina De Robertis, and Luis Alberto Urrea share moving personal stories of the many ways that sisterly bonds have powerfully impacted their lives in Count on Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships by Las Comadres Para Las Americas & Adriana V. Lopez.


What would you do, where would you be, without your comadre?


In Spanish, comadre is a powerful term. It encompasses many of the most complex and important relationships that exist between women: best friends, confidants, advisors, neighbors, and godmothers to each other’s children. 


For over a decade, Nora Comstock, President and CEO of the international organization Las Comadres Para Las Americas has been bringing Latina women together to support each other in the U.S. and overseas. Here, they collaborate with acclaimed author and editor Adriana Lopez to bring you the very best of today’s Latino writers as they illuminate the power of sisterly bonds.


In twelve creative nonfiction narratives, mostly by women, the authors reflect on the importance of comadres in their lives. Writers like Fabiola Santiago, Luis Alberto Urrea, Reyna Grande, and Teresa RodrÍguez tell their stories of survival in the United States and in Latin America, where success would have been impossible without their friendships. 


Favorites like Esmeralda Santiago, Lorraine Lopez, Carolina De Robertis, Daisy Martinez, and Ana Nogales explore what it means to have a comadre help you through years of struggle and self-discovery. And authors Sofia Quintero, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, and Michelle Herrera Mulligan look at the powerful impact of the humor and humanity that their comadres brought to each one’s life, even in the darkest moments."



Nora de Hoyos Comstock is the National and International Founder, President, and CEO of Las Comadres Para Las Americas, an international organization that has been bringing together thousands of Latina women for more than a decade to support and advise one another. 


Adriana Lopez is the author and editor of several books. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, among other publications. She lives in New York and Madrid.



Win A Copy

I have an extra ARC copy that I received in error and I would like to raffle it off to an interested reader. The book will be published by Atria on September 4, 2012, and will retail for $16.00. Please note this is a pre-release copy and not a finished book.

Please enter below for your chance to win. The winner will be chosen randomly via the Rafflecopter algorithm and will be contacted via email.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Seed of Hope Giveaway: Win a Free Copy of The Lorax DVD & a Gift Bag

As some of you may recall, I shared my fond memories of discovering Dr. Seuss' The Lorax recently here. Now I have been offered a chance to offer you and your family the same opportunity. I am giving away 2 The Lorax Gift Bags that each include:
  • 2 Grocery bags (one large, one small)
  • 2 pencils
  • 2 sticker sets
  • 3 activity sheets
  • 1 beach ball
  • 1 DVD/Blu-Ray
To enter sign up below and tell me which Dr. Seuss book is your favorite.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Mexican Film Macario & My Uncle the Projectionist

When I was a little girl, my uncle worked as a cinema projectionist, operating the movie projector in a local New York City movie theater. Whenever, I visited my grandparents, especially during the holidays, he would bring out his old movie projector and show films right onto the back wall of the house for all of us, young and old, to see together. It was great and I have so many happy memories of these special private screenings.

One movie we saw that has always stuck in my head was Macario (Mexico, 1960).


The story of Macario, a poor starving mexican woodcutter, who dreams of eating a whole roast turkey by himself. It weaves a tale of magical realism, in which encounters with the Devil, God, and Death with unexpected results. It is based on the novel The Third Guest by the writer known as B. Traven. The first Mexican film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film in a Foreign Language, Macario is a must-see.


It's funny because I never thought these private family screenings out of the ordinary or especially cool back then but now I look back and see how my upbringing shaped me (my love of the arts, culture and media, technology, and foreign language cinema) and how very lucky I am.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Video: Random House Makes A Book

A view at the Random House shop:




Many people work behind the scenes at Random House to bring each book to the widest possible audience. Here, you'll meet some of them and learn more about what's involved, from editorial and design through production, marketing, sales, and distribution.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Which Book Should I Read This Summer? A Flowchart



via Teach.com

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Father's Day Giveaway: Denzel Washington DVD Collection

The folks at H&M Communications have partnered with Literanista to offer my readers a chance to win a collection of DVDs just in time for Father's Day that includes a Safe House DVD, an Inside Man DVD, and an American Gangster DVD.

Update: I have two prize packs to giveaway!

 It simple, enter below to win!
American Gangster (film)
American Gangster (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cover of "Inside Man (Widescreen Edition)...
Cover of Inside Man (Widescreen Edition)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

* The DVD prize pack winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter.

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Book: The Sadness of the Samurai: A Novel

Out this week: The Sadness of the Samurai: A Novel by Victor del Arbol
A betrayal and a murder in pro-Nazi Spain spark a struggle for power that grips a family for generations in this sweeping historical thriller

Fierce, edgy, brisk, and enthralling, this brilliant novel by Victor del Árbol pushes the boundaries of the traditional historical novel and in doing so creates a work of incredible power that resonates long after the last page has been turned.

When Isabel, a Spanish aristocrat living in the pro-Nazi Spain of 1941, becomes involved in a plot to kill her Fascist husband, she finds herself betrayed by her mysterious lover. The effects of her betrayal play out in a violent struggle for power in both family and government over three generations, intertwining her story with that of a young lawyer named Maria forty years later.

During the attempted Fascist coup of 1981, Maria is accused of plotting the prison escape of a man she successfully prosecuted for murder. As Maria's and Isabel's narratives unfold they encircle each other, creating a page-turning literary thriller firmly rooted in history.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Fierce: Bourne's Swan Lake

What do you get when you take an alluring romantic Russian ballet, Tchaikovsky's music, and switch out all the traditional troupe of frilly female dancers (swans) with a menacing flock of bare-chested men?

A re-interpreted modern dance piece that will surely stop you in your tracks and take your breath away!




www.swanlaketour.com

Friday, May 21, 2010

Damn, She's on Fire!



Perhaps I will give this one the same amount of thought, analysis, and critique as I did here: Tostitos Salsa & the Carmen Miranda/Chiquita Banana/Sexy Señorita Image


 
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