11 October 2009

Down to the Bone

Thought I'd share this notice in Publisher's Weekly about Mayra Lazara Dole's debut novel Down to the Bone (2008):

"Laura Amores is a tortillera - slang for 'lesbian' in Miami's Cuban-American social scene, and a term either of endearment or a slur, depending on who is using it. But once Laura's secret is out, a tortillera is all Laura seems to be - to her mother, the nuns at her Catholic school and even some friends. Laura is thrown out of school and even from her house: 'I'm sorry, Laura, but I can't continue loving you if you stay gay,' Mami says as she literally pushes her daughter out the door. Luckily, Laura meets 'bois' who introduce her to Miami's Cuban gay scene, and her best friend shares her home and family, unconditionally. Laura remains reluctant to accept her gay identity, however, and her exploration of possible relationships - with a boi, a 'delicious' young woman and a boy she dates in hope of restoring herself to her mother's good graces - form the main arc of this honest, intense and at times moving romance. Using Spanish colloquialisms and slang, this debut author pulls off the tricky task of dialect in a manner that feels authentic. As Dole tackles a tough and important topic, her protagonist will win over a range of teen audiences, gay and straight. Ages 14-up."

It's hard to find driven authors nowadays that are not grim and determined. Fortunately for us, those that follow this blog (including Dole) share the unusual human trait so aptly described by Rafael Sabatini in the novel and film Scaramouche: "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

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