Showing posts with label Brooklyn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brooklyn. Show all posts

Friday, February 06, 2015

#FridayReads: God Loves Haiti by Dimitry Elias Léger

A luminous debut . . . Léger writes beautifully and with an immense humanity. Perhaps one of the finest Caribbean novels I’ve read in years and it is a testament to Léger’s extraordinary talents that in this incisive chronicle of failing lovers he never loses sight of his true subject—Haiti—which he renders in all of its stupendous beautiful tortured complexity. A stand-out novel.”—Junot Diaz

A native of Haiti, Dimitry Elias Léger makes his remarkable debut with this story of romance, politics, and religion that traces the fates of three lovers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the challenges they face readjusting to life after an earthquake devastates their city. 

Reflecting the chaos of disaster and its aftermath, God Loves Haiti switches between time periods and locations, yet always moves closer to solving the driving mystery at its center: Will the artist Natasha Robert reunite with her one true love, the injured Alain Destiné, and live happily ever after? Warm and constantly surprising, told in the incandescent style of José Saramago and Roberto Bolaño, and reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez’s hauntingly beautiful Love In The Time of Cholera, God Loves Haiti is an homage to a lost time and city, and the people who embody it.



Dimitry Elias Léger was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and raised there and in Brooklyn. Educated at St. John’s University and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, he has worked as an advisor to United Nations agencies. He has also been a staff writer at Fortune, the Miami Herald, and The Source Magazine, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Newsweek, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn and near Evian, France.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throwbacks: Water Saints & Geographies of Home

I recently came across these two books published a few years ago that I think might be right up your alley, especially for my Dominican's:

Song of the Water Saints by Nelly Rosario 

This vibrant, provocative début novel explores the dreams and struggles of three generations of Dominican women. Graciela, born on the outskirts of Santo Domingo at the turn of the century, is a headstrong adventuress who comes of age during the U.S. occupation. Too poor to travel beyond her imagination, she is frustrated by the monotony of her life, which erodes her love affairs and her relationship with Mercedes, her daughter. Mercedes, abandoned by Graciela at thirteen, turns to religion for solace and, after managing to keep a shop alive during the Trujillo dictatorship, emigrates to New York with her husband and granddaughter, Leila. Leila inherits her great-grandmother Graciela’s passion-driven recklessness. But, caught as she is between cultures, her freedom arrives with its own set of obligations and dangers.

Geographies of Home by Loida Maritza Perez 

After leaving the college she'd attended to escape her religiously conservative parents, Iliana, a first-generation Dominican-American woman, returns home to Brooklyn to find that her family is falling apart: one sister is careening toward mental collapse, another sister is living in a decrepit building with her abusive husband and three children, and a third sister has simply disappeared. In this dislocating urban environment Iliana reluctantly confronts the anger and desperation that seem to seep through every crack of her family's small house, and experiences all the contradictions, superstitions, joys, and pains that come from a life caught between two cultures. In this magnificent debut novel, filled with graceful prose and searing detail, Loida Maritza Pérez offers a penetrating portrait of the American immigrant experience as she explores the true meanings of identity, family--and home.

Have you read either of these?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New Swoon Exhibit: Submerged Motherlands

I've been a fan of Swoon for a while and I'm delighted to share the news of her upcoming show at the Brooklyn Museum opening on Friday. Those of you not familiar will note, she is a Brooklyn-based artist, who celebrates everyday people and explores social and environmental issues with her signature paper portraits and figurative installations. She is best known for her large, intricately-cut prints wheat pasted to industrial buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Show information


Swoon
Swoon (Photo credit: aur2899)
Swoon - Boy
Swoon - Boy (Photo credit: drbooks)
Swoon
Swoon (Photo credit: carnagenyc)
Swoon
Swoon (Photo credit: carnagenyc)
Swoon twin death
Swoon twin death (Photo credit: mercurialn)
Swoon Detail
Swoon Detail (Photo credit: Trois Têtes (TT))
Swoon
Swoon (Photo credit: C-Monster)

Friday, March 07, 2014

#FridayReads: Handbook for an Unpredictable Life By Rosie Perez

In Handbook for an Unpredictable Life:  How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair), Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez’s never-before-told story of surviving a harrowing childhood and of how she found success—both in and out of the Hollywood limelight is revealed.

Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence of Do the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. 

At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. Thus began her crazily discombobulated childhood of being shuttled between “the Home,” where she and other kids suffered all manners of cruelty from nuns, and various relatives’ apartments in Brooklyn.

Many in her circumstances would have been defined by these harrowing experiences, but with the intense determination that became her trademark, Rosie overcame the odds and made an incredible life for herself. She brings her journey vividly to life on each page of this memoir—from the vibrant streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in the Catholic home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s.  

More than a page-turning read, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a story of survival. By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is ultimately the inspirational story of a woman who has found a hard-won place of strength and peace.

ROSIE PEREZ is an Oscar-nominated actress, whose credits include Do the Right Thing, White Men Can't Jump, Fearless, and The Counselor. She is the Artistic Chair of Urban Arts Partnership and sits on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Monday, August 06, 2012

NYC: Come See Me at The Comadres y Compadres Writers Conference

I will be speaking at the upcoming Comadres y Compadres Writers Conference on October 6, 2012, in New York City, drawing from my experience as social media strategist and former book publicist. I hope you all can make it and would appreciate it if you help spread the word as well.

Time: 8:00 am to 6 pm
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Place: Medgar Evers College
The City University of New York
1650 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn, New York 11225

The Comadres y Compadres Writers Conference, which will take place at the Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York on October 6, 2012, will provide Latino writers with access to published Latino authors as well as agents and editors who have a proven track record of publishing Latino writers.

In addition, the CCWC will offer an insider’s perspective on how best to navigate the particular challenges and opportunities faced by Latino writers in the current publishing landscape, as well as foster a vibrant national community of writers akin to what Las Comadres has already created with its Las Comadres international network and its Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club and Teleconference Series.

Keynote Speaker: Sonia Manzano, Actress and Author.

Having originated the role of “Maria” on Sesame Street, Manzano wrote two children’s books, No Dogs Allowed (Simon and Schuster, 2004) and A Box Full of Kittens (Simon and Schuster, 2007), and will have her first YA novel, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, published by Scholastic in Fall 2012.

Participants currently include Johanna Castillo, Vice President & Senior Editor/Atria, Simon & Schuster: Jaime de Pablos, Director/Vintage Español, Knopf Doubleday Group; Adriana Dominguez, Agent/Full Circle Literary; Mercedes Fernandez, Assistant Editor/Dafina Books, Kensington Publishing; Sulay Hernandez, Editor/Other Press; Cheryl Klein, Executive Editor/Arthur A. Levine Books; Selina L. McLemore, Senior Editor/Grand Central Publishing; Christina Morgan, Editor/Harcourt Houghton Mifflin; Lukas Ortiz, Managing Director/Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency, Inc.;  Diane Stockwell, Founder/Globo Libros Literary Management; and Stacy Whitman, Founder and Editorial Director/Tu Books. (AND ME!)

To register to attend, sponsor or attend as vendor or volunteer, click here for more information.

Save the Date & See who else will be there:

RSVP via LinkedIn
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RSVP via Plancast
Las Comadres Conference Program


Monday, September 05, 2011

NYC: Justin Torres in Conversation with Literanista at the Greenlight Bookstore

Mark your calendars, friends!

I will be interviewing author, Justin Torres (We The Animals) on Monday, September 19, 2011, at 7:30 PM at the Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn. A very special thank you to Ron Hogan of Beatrice.com who will present the discussion. I hope you can join us!
Monday, September 19, 7:30 PM
Blogger/Author Pairings:  
Justin Torres discusses his novel We The Animals with Valerie Russo of Literanista
Introduction by Ron Hogan of Beatrice.com


Former New York bookseller Justin Torres has been taking the literary world by storm with his fiercely powerful debut novel of the intense love and idiosyncrasies of family life. A first person narrative of three growing brothers and their volatile and passionate parents, the book is also a coming-of-age story in which personal identity – cultural, ethnic, sexual – wars with the overwhelming demands of family.

Justin discusses his work with Valerie Russo, creator of Literanista, where she writes about multicultural books, new media, and social issues. The event is hosted by series curator Ron Hogan, creator of the seminal literary blog Beatrice.com.


Location: Greenlight Bookstore 

686 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, New York
11217

Subway: C at Lafayette, G at Fulton Street, or 2/3/4/5/B/D/M/Q/N/R at Atlantic/Pacific Terminal.

Click here for a map


RSVP via Facebook

Friday, July 24, 2009

Growing Up with an Argentinian Dad

Cover of "The Impostor's Daughter: A True...
Cover of The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir
In The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir by Laurie Sandell, she"recounts the gradual realization that her charming, larger-than-life Argentine father, bragging of war metals, degrees from prestigious universities and acquaintances with famous people, had lied egregiously to his family about his past and accomplishments." (via Publishers Weekly)

Composed as stunning graphic novel by Laurie Sandell, who is a journalist and published cartoonist, it is guaranteed to both delight you and mesmerize you.

Laurie Sandell grew up in Stockton, California, then lived in upstate New York, and has traveled the world: Jerusalem, Tokyo, Egypt, Jordan, backpacked all over Europe and then ended up going full circle back to Buenos Aires.

She now lives in Brooklyn and is a contributing editor at Glamour Magazine.

She will guest post on Literanista on Sunday!

Monday, June 15, 2009

On the Homeless Front

I don't usually write about such politically charged topics but there were two items recently that came to my attention that I felt I needed to discuss. Both are related to homelessness. I've know many people who have been homeless or have been unfortunate enough to have to stay at homeless shelters. None of them were mentally ill, or drug addicts. Most of them were simply ordinary people who lost their apartments because of domestic isssues, were unable to pay their rent, ran out of relatives to stay with or had some sort of natural disaster.

When I read that people were up in uproar over a an upscale building in Brooklyn that the city turned into a temp. shelter, I was rather disgusted by humanity's selfishness and greediness. The place has granite countertops, terraces, marble bathrooms and walk-in closets. It was meant to be a luxury condo building however because of the economy the developer had to turn to other means to not lose all profits.

Now, it seems some people were rather upset by the idea of homeless people "living large."

"I'm a hardworking taxpayer, and I don't think homeless people should be living better than me," fumed Desmond John, 35, a window salesman who wanted to rent one of the fancy apartments. "They said it's not for rent. It's a shelter. I was shocked."
I'm also a hardworking taxpayer but somehow I think it's rather unfair to decide how someone 'should live' based on their place/status in society. To say people, don't deserve to be there is just wrong and very sour grapes. That's another human being, just like you. First of all, it's a temporary situation and perhaps it's a rather nice reprieve for someone who has suffered to get to stay in such a place for a little while. Uplifting and renewing.

In that same vein, NPR introduced us to "Homeless advocate Eric Sheptock [who] uses technology to get his message out. Though he's homeless himself, he keeps a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. He spends a lot of time in the city's public libraries, where he gets free access to a computer. There he can check his e-mail account and write his blog — called On the Clock with Eric Sheptock — which has so far attracted hundreds of readers. He recently wrote about his concern that the homeless shelter he now lives in is in danger of closing. "

How amazing is that!

Learn more about Eric at www.npr.org
 
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