Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Author, Author



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.

25 comments:

  1. Looks like a keeper for sure... Oh how I can relate to the story... somewhat similar to Joy Luck Club (?), Clay Walls (my cousin's)...From books like these, I learned that women have an inner strength that can't and will never be compared.

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  2. OK, Having had my mind enmired in history, I think it's time for a fiction fix, insofar as such writing is fiction. Much of what we call fiction is, after all, a reworking,reinterpreting of that which we know, have observed and overheard over years of just plain [or sometimes fancy] living.

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  3. Yes! Thank you. It's on the must-read list.

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  4. I don't communicate with my paternal family at all (and there are a damned lot of them) either. I do know why: it's because they are petty and vindictive, always critical of my life. Life is too short to put up with that. I did take care of my parents' needs at the end, since they were incapable of doing so, "because they were blood." This sounds like the kind of book I'd enjoy.

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  5. Looks like it is a powerful read. I'll have to check it out.

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  6. I rather doubt anyone exits childhood and the influence of family unscathed. When you look at the story of your early life, you can choose to write the more painful episodes as harmful, or as lessons. I lean towards lessons, accepting that some lessons hurt to the quick, your whole life long.

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  7. If it's as good as Human Cargo, it'll be great. And I like the cover. Is there any chance of an audio version in the future?

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  8. I'm all about messy family relationships. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the Amando Women. Yay Dez!

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  9. Thank you Karin, to let me know about Désirée Zamorano. I will love to read "The Amado Women"
    and I wish I could find that novel in Portuguese or in Spanish.

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  10. Thank you. I asked my indie book store to order a copy.

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  11. Thanks for your comments, all, and I LOVE that anonymous has ordered it from an independent. :)
    Bellis: I've asked about audio and my publisher is non-commital--so I suppose that's a no. It may be something I pursue on my own in the future--

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  12. And Sonia, that's a great idea. There's a bookstore/lending library in Boyle Heights/LA called Libros Schmibros that has been lobbying for more Spanish-language translations. We don't have enough in the U.S. to keep up with the demand. And we don't have enough businesses like Libros Schmibros

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  13. Speaking on my birthday? About me? hahahahaha

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  14. Thank you Karin for the link to Libros Schmibros. I agree, it's a great idea to more Spanish-language translations.

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  15. Karin, I found on Libros Schmibros beautiful photos by the artist J Michael Walker, on the Pages from a Bahia Diary. Just great to see photos and to read about the Brazilian state of Bahia.

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  16. Oh my...Des totally nailed my experience of family relationships with this. The barbed wire around the wrist, the missing funeral invitations. I like her writing style already and will check out her book. Thanks!
    Carolynn

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  17. Sonia - J Michael Walker is a talented local artist who lives in my community. He ventured south at an early age where he met his wife of many years. He is also an extremely sensitive writer with insight into the aging process.

    He wrote the most wonderful tribute to his dying father in a rest home. He posted it on Face Book. I actually did a copy and paste, it was that moving.

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  18. Hi Pasadena Adjacent,
    Thank you for let me know!
    I would love to read that tribute to his dying father in a rest home. Sounds moving.

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  19. A Very Happy 4th July to America!!

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  20. Hi Pasadena Adjacent, I found the tribute by J Michael Walker to his father on LA Observed, here:
    A dad's Alzheimer's.
    Thanks!

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  21. I just put Vroman's on my calendar!!!

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  22. It sounds like I would (or will) like it. Family dynamics is an interesting subject.

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  23. Yay, Chieftess! Hope to meet you there!!

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  24. How did I miss this? Looking forward to that Vroman's reading!

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