Tag: Books: Latin American Literature

Review: The Poetry of Pablo Neruda

Posted 21 September, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 3 Comments

The Poetry of Pablo Neruda
By: Pablo Neruda
Format/Source: Paperback; my copy

“In his work a continent awakens to consciousness.” So wrote the Swedish Academy in awarding the Nobel Prize to Pablo Neruda, the author of more than thirty-five books of poetry and one of Latin America’s most revered writers, lionized during his lifetime as “the people’s poet.” This selection of Neruda’s poetry, the most comprehensive single volume available in English, presents nearly six hundred poems, scores of them in new and sometimes multiple translations, and many accompanied by the Spanish original. In his introduction, Ilan Stavans situates Neruda in his native milieu as well as in a contemporary English-language one, and a group of new translations by leading poets testifies to Neruda’s enduring, vibrant legacy among English-speaking writers and readers today.

Over the years I’d come across an occasional line or poem from Pablo Neruda but sort of delayed in picking up a collection of his works because I didn’t quite know which collection to pick up. After much debate, hours of browsing GoodReads, Indigo, Amazon, etc., I finally settled on picking up this collection; it seems the most complete, and I might as well jump in, right?

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Review: Like Water for Chocolate

Posted 17 April, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Like Water for Chocolate
By: Laura Esquivel
Format/Source: Hardback; my copy

A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her. For the next twenty-two years, Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.

I wanted to read this book for such a long time. I first heard of it as I was looking up titles involving the magical realism theme and this book came highly recommended. Not sure why I kept putting off picking this book up but I finally did recently; one of my favourite bookstores was closing and they were selling hardback copies of this book for a very good price. Looking for something light to read while studying for my exams, I decided to read this book (again, at long last).

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Meme: Teaser Tuesdays

Posted 17 October, 2011 by Lianne in Meme / 11 Comments

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
– Grab your current read
– Open to a random page
– Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
– Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Should Be Reading

I have a few teasers this week because I’m juggling three novels at the moment (now that I have all of this free time it’s like whoo-hoo, books! for me xD). My first teaser:

“The people of Yorkshire remembered Towton as ‘a great battle’, according to the Arrivall, an official Yorkist account of events, but the memory was bitter because in that battle were slain ‘many of their fathers, their sons, their brethren and kinsmen, and many other of their neighbours.’ The slaughter of Towton broke the power of the great families of the north, and the Lancastrians lost some of their best captains: the Earl of Northumberland, Lord Randolph Dacre of Gilsland, Lord Scrope of Bolton, Sir Richard Percy, Lords Welles Willoughby and Neville, and Sir Andrew Trollope were among the fallen.”
– p. 284, Lancaster and York: The War of the Roses by Alison Weir

That…was a lot longer than I expected when I first started typing that out xD Anyways, this is the current nonfiction book that I’m reading; while I’ve always heard of and roughly knew what the War of the Roses was about, I never really understood the intricacies involved in the conflict. After catching up with GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, I decided to check out the history behind the War of the Roses. I’ve heard wonderful things about Alison Weir and her work so I chose her volume. I’ve got a third left to go and it’s been a fascinating read; she does a wonderful job at conveying the events of the conflict and the build up to the confrontation.

“Within six months he was the size of a sheep, and at the end of the year he was as big as a colt. In desperation the family began to question whether he would ever stop growing and whether he was really a dog.”
– p. 19, The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

Strange teaser, eh? lol. This book has been on my radar for a very long time now, maybe since I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s A Hundred Years of Solitude; I was curious to know what other novels were out there that adopted the magical realism aspect. I’m not that far into the novel but it’s pretty wonderous so far, I’m looking forward to really getting into the story.

“Yes, I had a story, a true story, a story of haunting and evil, fear and confusion, horror and tragedy. But it was not a story to be told for casual entertainment, around the fireside upon Christmas Eve.”
– p. 21, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The last of my teasers for today =P I’ve heard of this story casually in passing but it wasn’t until the trailer to newest adaptation coming out next year (starring Daniel Radcliffe) that my attention really turned to this novel. It’s a very slim volume and I’m looking forward to reading it; I consider it my Hallowe’en read =P

Review: Love in the Time of Cholera

Posted 18 April, 2008 by Li in Books / 0 Comments

Love in the Time of Cholera
By: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I bought this book back in December but never got around to reading it until February. This is the first book I’ve ever read by him (though I did hear of his other book, One Hundred Years of Solitude) and with a movie made basedon the novel, I figured to check it out. It’s a wonderul book that starts off with the main characters in their twilight years before going back and retracing the beginning of their romance and the course of their lives before returning to the moment depicted at the beginning of the novel and then its aftermath. It must have been a daunting task to retrace a half-century of the lives of Florentino Ariza, Fermina Daza and Dr. Juvenal Urbino, a task that is truly impressing. The plot itself is very simple, the case of a love triangle and the question of security, the nature of true love and steadfastness. Social issues are also mentioned in this novel, set in South America over the course of the later half of the 19th century. Marquez’s prose is wonderful, you get a sense of the environment and the times that these characters lived in. At times I found myself relatively unsympathetic towards Florentino and Fermina and their actions and behaviour and surprisingly found myself sympathetic to Urbino at times. The ending of the novel was also a bit depressing to me, a commentary on the course of life and the nature of old age. But I believe the plot was good enough to keep you going, the scope is impeccable even if the characters can be startling at times.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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