Monday, July 18, 2011

Meltingpot Reads-- Mixie Marriages and The "Puerto Rican Gone With the Wind"

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

I don't know if it's because it's hovering near 100 degrees or because I'm just too heavy to move regardless of the temperature, these days all I want to do is find a cool, comfortable space to read. Of course, for me, the question is always, what to read next. Here's what I have in the TBR pipeline.

1. In the realm of nonfiction, I'm about to crack open, Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After by Diane Farr. In this book, Farr --who happens to be an actress -- tells her story of falling in love and marrying a Korean-American man. Farr is White. She also shares stories of other interracial couples she interviewed along the way for inspiration and guidance. Here's a clip of her being interviewed on The Today Show about the book.

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I'll being posting my review of the book as soon as i finish it.

And on my fiction list, I just read about Esmerelda Santiago's latest novel, Conquistadora. It's about a 19th century Spanish woman who convinces her husband to move to Puerto Rico to seek their fortune. He dies and she becomes a powerful plantation owner and healer. I've heard it is supposed to be the first story in a trilogy that has been described as a "Puerto Rican Gone With the Wind." Yummy! I can't wait to get my hands on this one. To be honest, I've only been a fan of Santiago's non-fiction, mostly her first memoir, When I Was Puerto Rican, but this novel with it's Spanish/African/Slavery/Kinky Gazpacho history sounds right up my alley. Anybody else plan on reading this one?

Okay, that's what's next on my list. What about you? I'm listening.



michelle said...

Would love to discuss your thoughts on the Diane Farr book. I'm about to read it myself after much trepidation.

Lisa MB said...

Diane Farr? Who used to be on "Loveline" with Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew, and was also the lone female firefighter on "Rescue Me"? Whoa. I hope it's good... she was fairly thoughtful, but this is not what I'd expected of her.

I recently read two children's books in which the central character was African-American and white. The first was "Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything In It" by Sundee Tucker Frazier. Mixed son runs into white grandpa he's never met because grandpa Did Not Approve of the kid's father being black. Not bad, but the "can't we just get along" message slightly overwhelmed the writing.

The other was "The Black Canary" by Jane Louise Curry. Mixed boy travels back in time to Elizabethan England, kidnapped to become part of a children's choir that performs for the queen. Better, especially in showing the dangers of life at that time both for black children and all kids in general. But the happy ending was a bit forced.

I think I'll pass the second book to my oldest son (six years old), in a few years. But the first one, even though it's a bit juvenile, still needs some discussion, I think.

Adey said...

In the first example they presented- the Tylers- I would have liked to hear more about the reception of the husband's family to the news about their new daughter-in-law. I feel like that happens often in media presentations of these stories- a stronger focus on the white family's qualms about accepting a "minority" into their family. It was refreshing to hear Diane Farr talk about her husband's family. Thanks for highlighting this!

LT said...

I think I know what you mean. You'll be hearing from me soon.

Thanks for the kid's book titles. I've actually met Sundee Tucker Frazier but haven't kept up with her work. I'll check this one out. The Black Canary sounds cool too.

You make such a good point. Why do people always assume it's the White people who will have a problem when their child marries someone of color? It's as if marrying a White person is assumed to be a prize every colored person dreams of. Ugh.