Anybody who’s ever lived far from home knows that receiving mail takes on a new–and rather enormous–significance. This was true when I left my beloved Texas for my mid-west college. And it’s even truer now that I live overseas. I’m not the only one to feel this way, either: If ever you want to see a group of adults in suits sprint, just holler “mail call” in an Embassy. Then get out of the way. Otherwise, a herd of diplomats will run you down.
Ready to raise the giddiness level even higher? Well, just let this gal rip open a mystery envelope to find a book containing this: Continue reading “Mail Call!”
You know how your want-to-read eyes are always bigger than your time-to-read stomach? And how this phenomenon leads to you have a waist-high stack of books you know you’ll get to “someday”? (From talking to other bibliophiles, I know I’m not alone in this affliction.)
For many years, Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude occupied a spot on my wishful-reading list. Based on my work on his Love in the Time of Cholera (which features in my chapter in the The Body), I knew a García Márquez novel was not to be tackled lightly. I wanted to wait until I had the time and focus to truly do it justice… which I never seemed to have at hand.
But then I was offered a chance to contribute to another anthology, this one on family, friends, and foes in hispanic literature (set for late 2018 publication). I knew immediately what I wanted to write on: the family saga that is Solitude. Continue reading “Bite-Sized Book Reviews: “One Hundred Years of Solitude””
I think I’m Superwoman.
Which is fine, and even empowering. Right up until I start punishing myself for not getting done all the tasks on a list that was un-get-done-able from the start.
Here’s what I mean: as I look at 2018 (which will include a move back to the States for our next assignment), my brain’s already racking up a considerable to-do list for the next year:
Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions: Strategic, Not Super”
Having had my Texas Christmas early while visiting with my family, I’ve already scored some pretty awesome gifts this holiday season. But I’m excited to add one more treat to the pile… another book with my name tucked inside as an author.
A November publication, S/He: Sex & Gender in Hispanic Studies rolled off the printer in time for the holidays. So if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for the lit nerd in your life–or if you’re a celebrator of the Icelandic book-giving holiday–Jolabokaflod (A.K.A, the “Christmas Book Flood”)–you can score a copy at your nearest Amazon site!
And if feminine heroes are the recipient’s cup o’ tea, feel free to nudge them to read my installment in the anthology first: Chapter 9: “Golden Age S/heroes: Steel-Plated Petticoats: Women and Heroism in Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quijote.”
Happy Reading/Giving! Please take a moment to share in the comment section what books you’re giving or hoping to get this season! I’ve already grabbed Emma Newman’s Between Two Thorns and Rene Gutteridge’s Ghost Writer. What’s on your list?
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“The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” one of the stories inspired by Hemingway’s hunting expeditions.
Note the base of this fountain: a urinal Hemingway acquired from a local Key West bar.
Hemingway at the helm.
Entrance to Hemingway’s house.
Cat standing guard over Hemingway’s writing room.
I’m a sucker for this sun-licked wrap-around porch.
Stairs up to Hemingway’s writing hideaway.
Hubby and me, proving we were there.
A portable typewriter, like those Hemingway might have taken on his adventures.
A tribute to one of Hemingway’s favorite pursuits, discovered in Key West: sport fishing.
Another shot of Hemingway’s writing getaway. Note to nods to his passions: writing, books, fishing, and big game hunting.
Hemingway’s home was one of the first in the Florida Keys to have running water.
Hemingway’s house is famous for its polydactyl cats. Not all of the approximately 50 cats now resident there have manifested this gene, but all are carriers.
A tribute to Hemingway’s love for big game hunting.
A wall o’ the four wives. A somewhat unsettling group of portraits, perhaps.
A treatise on the Iceberg Theory.
A few pieces of Hemingway’s private library. Most of his books reside in Cuba.
A snapshot of Hemingway’s house, way back when.
Love these posters for the movie adaptations of Hemingway’s novels.
A snapshot of Hemingway’s writing room above the carriage house (and the iron grate that protects the room from wayward tourists).
A movie featuring Hemingway and wife no. 3, American novelist, travel writing, and journalist Martha Gellhorn.
Hemingway’s bed, custom-made to accommodate his large size. The headboard is an antique Spanish gate.
This pool, upon completion in 1938, cost $20,000 in the currency of the day. (Or, approximately $350,000 today.) It was the only in-ground pool within 100 miles when built, and was dug out of the solid coral that comprises the island.
As always, a nod to Hemingway house’s horde of feline residents.
In my last post, I mentioned that I was recently in Key West, soaking up the sea and much longed-for time with family. I got to swim in turquoise waters, stuff myself silly with seafood, and wander streets lined with tropical trees and homes that, to my untrained eye, blended the beach architecture of my childhood with southern-Victorian and Spanish styles.
But of course, no writer’s visit to Key West would be complete without a stop at one house in particular: The Hemingway Home and Museum.
I’m always a bit embarrassed to admit this–after all, I have a Masters in English and American literature–but I haven’t actually read all that much Hemingway. I did read his “Hills like White Elephants,” a short story that exemplifies Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory (the concept of writing around a particular subject–here abortion–without ever explicitly naming it). But my research emphasis in my degree was Romantic, Victorian, and Post-Colonial British literature, and Early American and 19th-century literature. Chronologically-speaking, Hemingway came a little too late for me.
But a few years ago, I picked up Paula McLain’s historical, Hemingway-themed novel, The Paris Wife. Obviously, this book is A) fiction (and therefore, a not-necessarily-rigidly-factual interpretation of history) and B) more focused on Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson, than Hemingway himself.
Continue reading “Key West: Hangin’ with Hemingway”
The “R” word’s an ugly one. Nobody likes talking about it. But rejection is a major part of a writer’s life. There’s not a conventionally-published author alive who hasn’t experienced that sting. Nobody–not even the J.K. Rowlings out there–make it through this biz without a few scrapes.
This week, I received a rejection letter (couldn’t we bibliophiles have come up with a less brutal term for this? What’s wrong with “No Thank You Correspondence?”) from one of the literary agencies to which I’d submitted my novel.
It was actually a relatively flattering letter as far as they go. But in the end, they still said “no.” They couldn’t offer me representation. You always know this is a possibility, of course. But you hope really, really, really hard that this time, the answer’ll be “yes.”
Reading the rejection, Professional Lauren appreciated the speed of the agency’s response. Treasured the compliment to my writing talents. Tucked away the constructive criticism for analysis and implementation. Continue reading “Rejection & Resilience”
Yesterday brought an exciting surprise in the mail, all the way from the U.S. of A.: my new book, Insult to Injury: Violence in Spanish, Hispanic American and Latino Art & Literature.
Right there on page 94 of the anthology, starts Chapter 7… my chapter!
“Brutality, Borderlands, and Bildungsromans: Violence and Cultural Conflict in Rodolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima and Américo Paredes’s George Washington Gómez”
This may call for a celebratory class of wine with my gal-pals. (You know who are are!)
(P.S.–Aren’t I spoiled? Check out the lovely Valentine’s Day roses my husband made sure I had at my day job.)