Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Meet the always wise and ever witty Désirée Zamorano. And why should you, you ask? Well, not just because she's my friend, has a name like a comic book superhero, and mixes a mean Manhattan. Meet Des because she's an author and her latest novel,The Amado Women, published by Cinco Puntos Press, hits book shelves -- virtual and actual -- nationwide, today.
Here's Des, in a piece written specifically for this blog, about The Amado Women, family relationships, and the ties that bind and break us.
Love, Not Blood
I had stepped away from a conversation at a party and when I returned my friend said, “Can you believe she’s taking care of her brother? She doesn't even like him.”
I shrugged and said, “It’s blood, not love."
"You won’t believe it, that’s exactly what she said."
Those family ties that bind — like a barbed wire wrapped around your wrist or an incantation muttered at birth keeping you enmeshed and in a mess — yes, life can be all that.
Or like this: a terrible true story. My paternal family no longer talks to me. Maybe it’s I no longer talk to them — I’m not sure which. I know the root of it, but it’s like this strangely shaped boulder someone gave me twenty years ago, and I have to carry it wherever I go. At times I forget about its weight completely, at others I examine it, and wonder. Today I wonder at the level of immaturity that ran through all of us — at the missing invitations to funerals, at the blocked rapprochements offered across the years. Then I go on about my life at hand.
Family love and alienation are themes that I wanted to explore in my novel. The secrets we hide from each other, yet with a need to be fully seen; the way we can love a relative so much we want to pound on their door to let us back in their lives, yet cannot — the need too painful, the pride too unyielding — or the disinclination fueled by the demanding and mundane tasks of daily life. Funny thing about the quotidian: it is always interrupted.
Here we go, on our way, shoring up our things and putting lots of energy into an attempt to be safe, to be certain, when, as the Buddhists say, the only certainty is change. Watching change unfold in a novel, and the resulting emotional repercussions, sometimes helps us navigate our own actual lives. That is part of the reason I read, and also part of my motivation in writing this particular novel.
I sincerely hope you spend some time getting to know The Amado Women and that the family connections you maintain in your own life are for love.
Désirée Zamorano will be speaking at Skylight Books July 15, 7:30pm and Vroman’s July 30, 7pm. Find out more about Désirée’s novel and her events here.