Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book #53 of 2010

Book #53 of 2010 was ... "Kinky Gazpacho" by Lori Tharps.

Magazine writer and editor Lori Tharps was born and raised in the comfortable but mostly White suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she was often the only person of color in her school and neighborhood. At an early age, Lori decided that her destiny would be discovered in Spain. She didn't know anyone from Spain, had never visited the country, and hardly spoke the language. Still, she never faltered in her plans to escape to the Iberian Peninsula.

Arriving in the country as an optimistic college student, however, Lori soon discovers Spain's particular attitude toward Blackness. She is chased down the street by the local schoolchildren and pointed at incessantly in public, and her innocent dreams of a place where race doesn't matter are shattered. The story would end there, except Lori meets and marries a Spaniard, and that's when her true Spanish adventure really begins.

I enjoyed the book. Her writing made my me feel like I could sit down with Tharps and have many laughs over coffee. Having grown up the minority white kid in a majority Black school system, I could relate to her need to fit in and also find her own identity. There were times where her writing seemed a little scattered but I thought of it more as train of thought writing. She had so much to say and reflect on that it couldn't always be contained neatly. I am looking forward to her new book in August.

You might notice I didn't actually read the book I said I was going to read next. It was due and I had no more renewals. That's the hazard of taking out so many books at a time. So now I have to re-check it out and finish it. Until then I am reading "Rumor Has It" by Jill Mansell.

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LT said...

Hi Jen,

This is Lori L. Tharps. I just found your blog and saw your review for Kinky Gazpacho. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. Thank you so much. Now I'd like to hear your story about being 'the White girl' in Detroit. Funny, I have a minor White girl character who lives in Detroit in my new novel Substitute Me. If you want a copy to review, let me know at www.loritharps.com.

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