January 6, Thursday afternoon -- Reading GRANTA

Eating lunch, a plate of leftovers from a potluck she hosted the night before -- the plate looked much more appetizing twenty minutes earlier.
and reading The Best of Young Spanish Language, published by GRANTA. She had tried to find the book in the original Spanish -- she majored in Spanish in college -- but couldn't, so bought the English version....and then kicked herself when she found the Spanish version on Amazon for cheaper.

It's hard to find Spanish language books, she said. There are a lot of classics, but contemporary Spanish is difficult to find, not just in this country, but in Latin America, where she's traveled, as well. The largest bookstore in a capital city might be the size of Modern Times, which is a small/modestly sized bookstore in San Francisco.

Her favorite book is Persuasion, by Jane Austin, about a woman whose family persuades her not to marry a man because he is poor, and then encounters him later in life when he is living on their estate and wealthy from prize money for capturing enemy ships for the Royal Navy. She likes Persuasion not only because it's a good story, but because it's well written and concise -- 150 pages. Some authors, she said, go on and on.

Recently she read Sea of Poppies by Amitav Gosh for her book club, which she got at the library and was glad she didn't purchase herself because it wasn't that good. It's the first book of a trilogy about the opium trade and was short listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2008. Maybe the book club should have read the book that won the Man Booker Prize in 2008 instead -- The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga.
In the background is a beloved coworker who works externally, but is ever-present on the bulletin board amongst her famous witticisms, such as "the Barbie dreamhouse version."

You can use the phrase anywhere, she explained. If you're even making pasta, she said, it could be the Barbie dreamhouse version. Extra cheese, maybe capers, chanterelles, heirloom tomatoes.

here's a link to the Barbie dreamhouse page
GRANTA is, in a class of anthologies, the "Barbie dreamhouse version." Even though, because of the nature of an anthology, she could skip around, she's reading it straight through, from cover to cover. It's not just stories either, there are bios of all the authors, too, who were born in the 1970s and 1980s in Spain, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, and Peru.


Special K said...

I used to have a Barbie Dreamhouse. *sigh*

Oleg said...

ого какой большой дом барби. А у нас на Украине такой не продаётся

Alex said...

I would think that the barbie dreamhouse version of something would have to be pink.