Thursday, January 5, 2012
BooK Look: Say Her Name
"Say Her Name" (by Francisco Goldman) is a glorious tribute to life and love. Frank sees Aura at a party. He's older than she is by twenty years. He is middle-aged and not especially good-looking. But he's smart, witty, unmarried, and open to a relationship. Aura, a beautiful Mexican writer getting a Ph.D. at Columbia, doesn't seem too impressed with Frank. But then they meet again. They laugh and laugh and laugh at one another, with one another. They go together to Mexico where Frank must endure meeting her family, especially her overly zealous mother. They love the culture of Mexico, the Spanish language, all books, all language, actually. From the beginning of this book, the reader is told that Aura has died. You read and read and read, catching hints of how this happened to this incredible woman, and what is left of Frank as he grieves. I loved the celebration of Aura, from her fingertips to the way she pronounced vowels, her journals and stories, her friends, her wish to own a dog. I loved and grieved with Frank. There is nothing I would change about this book except that it is tragically true. The couple, planning to have a baby and worrying about Frank's probable demise when the child was a young adult, was tricked by death when it is Aura who dies, before there is a baby, before their dreams have even begun to be fulfilled. Their love is absolutely magical.