Celebrated novelist Francisco Goldman married a beautiful young writer named Aura Estrada in a romantic Mexican hacienda in the summer of 2005. The month before their second anniversary, during a long-awaited holiday, Aura broke her neck while body surfing. Francisco, blamed for Aura's death by her family and blaming himself, wanted to die too. ...
Celebrated novelist Francisco Goldman married a beautiful young writer named Aura Estrada in a romantic Mexican hacienda in the summer of 2005. The month before their second anniversary, during a long-awaited holiday, Aura broke her neck while body surfing. Francisco, blamed for Aura's death by her family and blaming himself, wanted to die too. But instead he wrote Say Her Name, a novel chronicling his great love and unspeakable loss, tracking the stages of grief when pure love gives way to bottomless pain. Suddenly a widower, Goldman collects everything he can about his wife, hungry to keep Aura alive with every memory. From her childhood and university days in Mexico City with her fiercely devoted mother to her studies at Columbia University, through their newlywed years in New York City and travels to Mexico and Europe - and always through the prism of her gifted writings - Goldman seeks her essence and grieves her loss. Humour leavens the pain as he lives through the madness of utter grief and creates a living portrait of a love as joyous and playful as it is deep and profound. Say Her Name is a love story, a bold inquiry into destiny and accountability, and a tribute to Aura - who she was and who she would have been.
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-02-14 Goldman's (The Divine Husband) fifth book is a highly personal account of the author's life in the aftermath of his young wife's drowning. Goldman moves in time from meeting Aura in New York and her harrowing death on Mexico's Pacific Coast to the painful and solitary two years that followed in Brooklyn, marked in part by his mother-in-law's claim that he was responsible for Aura's death. His struggles to exonerate himself from his own conscience, and from his mother-in-law's legal threats, is electric and poignant, encapsulated in painful such moments as the author's discovery of "the indentations of Aura's scooping fingers like fossils" in the surface of her face scrub soon after her death. Goldman also includes fragments of Aura's fiction and her diary: "Played Atari like crazy, rearranged my Barbie house" recall her youth in Mexico City, and "We're on a plane, we've spent most of the day traveling, Paco asleep on my shoulder" illuminate the private moments of the couple's life. Goldman calls this book a novel and employs some novelistic techniques (composite characters, for instance), but the foundation is in truth: messy, ugly, and wildly complicated truth. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-07-25 Goldman's soulful memoir lovingly recalls his brief marriage to Aura Estrada, a Mexican writer and graduate student, and revisits her tragic death in a surfing accident. Sparing readers no aspect of his pain, shock, and grief, Goldman looks back on tender, humble moments from his life with Aura, such as the expensive quilt she bought for their bed and the gossip Web sites she liked to peruse before falling asleep. Robert Fass's narration is never melodramatic; instead he maintains an even keel throughout-even during the book's most heart-wrenching moments. Fass captures the book's spirit with its gentle mourning for a lost paradise of marital bliss. A Grove Press hardcover. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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