Conoc a Pancho mediante la entrevista de Puig Al verlo titubeante, con un habla entrecortada y pocha, con una semisonrisa entre est pida y dolida, record las emociones que me hizo vivir su novela, desde el goce por el amor vivido hasta el llanto clamoroso por la p rdida de Aura No importa que tan buena escritora haya sido Aura, sino lo inmensamente que fue amada Y esto lo lees y lo vives Del hecho cotidiano con sus vaivenes rutinarios hasta la honda tragedia que significa que te pase algo, un accidente imb cil que te lleva a la muerte, y aqu en M xico el dolor se decuplica y abisma Y la culpa que la familia quiere hacer recaer en el hombre que la ni a muerta decidi amar Sobrevives en este mar de tonter as porque te amaron y te sentiste amado y amaste y amas Lleno de gringadas, gastamos tanto, declar esto y lo otro, me amenazaron, todo por amar y ser amado Lo que importa La lees y si viviste alguna vez esto que se llama amor te conmueves y lloras y das gracias por que alguien comparte su dolor por el amor perdido Pensaba que esta era su primera novela, no s si leer las dem s porque no creo que alcancen la cima de su love story Ya decidir despu s. Creo que he ganado una nueva respuesta a la pregunta por qu lees Ahora podr a responder L ete algo como Di su nombre de Francisco Goldman, y te dar s una idea muy cercana de por qu leemos.Incluso podr a responder la pregunta de por qu escribimos.Proust se dio a la b squeda del tiempo perdido y a ello dedic su obra Joyce se afan en el lenguaje como personaje en una etapa final y en lograr un d a Un solo d a.Borges nos leg su Funes y su Menard y sus libros de arena interminables y sus centros del universo bajo una escalera.Goldman nos deja a Aura A su Aura.Acabo de ver en la biblioteca de pap un libro de ella que editaron despu s de su muerte y no estoy tan seguro que quiera leerla, aunque s que terminar haci ndolo.Goldman escribe desde un lugar muy com n a todos, pero, muy dif cil de traducir Escribe desde el dolor, desde la p rdida Escribe tambi n desde el amor, pero, un amor abstracto que est en el coraz n y est en un rbol y est en unas olas que ya rompieron y de las que apenas vemos espuma que vuelve al mar Di su nombre es un libro que te lleva por distintos sentimientos, las primeras 200 p ginas podr a decir que odi a su narrador M s le a m s lo odiaba Pero, se entreve a que habr a algo m s Y as fue.Hay una parte brutal casi al final de las poco m s de 400 p ginas que te dan la certeza de porqu era necesario acompa ar al narrador durante todo ese viaje.La prosa es una prosa limpia, cuidada, muy mesurada incluso en aquellos momentos donde muchos nos hubi ramos quebrado o hubi ramos brincado al m s rampl n sentimentalismo, Goldman escribe con pies de plomo y una mente despejada, escribe sobrio donde muchos sucumbir amos a la embriaguez m s inmediata.Finalmente se traduce una honestidad genuina Una desnudez literaria basta y directa Perd n Qu si es una historia de amor Por supuesto De qu otra cosa podr a estar hablando Es una historia de amor como no hay otra igual Es una historia de un amor interrumpido por el destino Por el destino fatal que a todos nos espera No hay m s Gracias, Francisco Gracias por escribirlo No s d nde est n los ajolotes, pero s que siempre podr volver a las p ginas de este libro y releerlo. In , Celebrated Novelist Francisco Goldman Married A Beautiful Young Writer Named Aura Estrada In A Romantic Mexican Hacienda 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 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 PainSuddenly 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 Humor Leavens The Pain As He Lives Through The Madness Of Grief And Creates A Living Portrait Of A Love As Joyous 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 Ve Been Who am I now that you re gone This is a book of grieving An aging literary academic marries a much younger woman with literary ambitions of her own They have a few wonderful years and then she tragically dies despite his efforts to save her He blames himself and so does her mother This is also a book of obsession Both Frank, the husband, and Aura s mother pit themselves against one another as each live with their regrets and loss Frank hangs on to her clothes and other possessions, he sees her ghost in the tree outside his house, and he avoids the people and places they loved I ve read several memoirs concerning grief written by female writers This gives a male perspective Living without someone who s become a part of us can feel like you ve been ripped in two Goldman does a good job of conveying this This review was based on an ebook supplied by the publisher.3.5 5 There is nothing that I could write that would do this man, this woman or this testimony justice.What I can say is this This book quite literally broke my heart The time it took me to read it saw me sink into a profound state of melancholy which was fuelled by its piercing, untouchable beauty, and the doom that encapsulated it.I just finished it, and I lay in bef, tears streaming down my face, heart racing, stomach in knotsdepletedby the awe and horror it inspired.Read this book I urge you. Like many other readers, I had previously read the news reports of the death of Francisco Goldman s wife in a tragic swimming accident and the subsequent pain of his mother in law s accusations against him His wife was young and beautiful, and he was a successful author and they were deeply in love They were just a month shy of their 2 year anniversary when they took a vacation together in Mexico and she sustained a fatal injury while body surfing at a remote beach The pain this man suffered seeps through the pages of the book and spreads a dreadful gloom all around First I felt so sad and sorry for him, for her, for all the friends and relatives affected by this tragedy And then I started to get annoyed Enough already It s like spending a night with a maudlin drunk who just can t stop talking about how wonderful his wife lover was, and how sad and pathetic his life is without her Worse, it s like watching a Pepe Le Pew cartoon because he keeps talking to his dead wife calling her alternately by name and as mi amor , my love, etc Not to sound like a vulture, but I really wanted to get to the description of the accident because I wanted to know what happened So I started skimming the book to find the climax, sidetracked by all the digressions and back and forth scenes in the narrative The description of the incident finally did seem incredible, remarkable, sad, suspenseful, pitiful, dramatic and truly tear jerking It was so well written that it seemed to be from another author It was truly a modern day tragedy, and I don t mean to imply by my comments that I don t have compassion for this poor man s dreadful loss. In the first place, I m not sure how this book can be classified a novel Memoir, perhaps, to escape the somewhat rigorous expectations of biography but this is the apparently true story of the author s tragic loss of his young wife, Aura, to a freak accident, and nothing about the writing at any point indicates that it has been fictionalized, down to the inclusion of apparently actual passages from Aura s notebooks Beyond that rather unimportant technical objection, I found the device of using the investigation into the death, which Aura s family initiates an investigation that implicates the author in the death manipulative, since it sets the book up as a murder mystery in which the author will exculpate himself of the charge that he killed his wife but in fact the accusations are utterly groundless and arise from Aura s mother s despair at Aura s death The repetition of facts about the murder investigation, as if it possibly held some basis in fact, as a way to keep the reader reading was utterly unnecessary, especially when it is fairly simply dismissed by the author toward the end of the book Third, though Goldman clearly adored his wife, I did not adore the portrait he paints of her here young academic with fairly typical objections to the academy young woman with deep, unsettled traumas over her abandonment by her father to my mind, Goldman spends too much time trying to convince me how lovable Aura is and too little time telling me how much he actually loved her that is, I don t have to love her in order to believe he did, and the story is a memoir of his grief not her life Finally, the book is much too long and becomes repetitious in the themes and contents of its anecdotes It starts lyrically and ends movingly, but much in the middle left me cold I wanted to like this book very much but simply wasn t moved in the end not because I lacked empathy for the author s loss but because it did not live up to his obviously great love. My first impression of this book was that it was magnificent I could only read a tiny bit at a time because of the crushing weight of the loss that the author experienced after the untimely death of his wife The book gets two stars for this part alone The rest was crap.After I got into the book a little , I honestly started to dislike the wife and wonder why anyone would have mourned her loss She married a man almost old enough to be her father and, yes, she had daddy issues and regularly told him he was ugly, he was old, he needed Botox plastic surgery Her vanity insisted that he dye his hair black for their wedding He seemed to think that all of this hatred his young wife expressed for him was adorable I could not comprehend how he fawned over this woman, and my growing dislike of her made the rest of the book difficult to read I lost my ability to empathize with the loss of this woman, and I started to wonder what was wrong with someone who so deeply mourned a woman who showed him such contempt.It s hard to write about yourself and make yourself vulnerable to your readers judgment, but the author did So we hear about the things he kept hidden from his wife the threesome with two middle aged Mexican whores, the regular visits to a Mexican whorehouse, the penchant for sleeping with women in their 20 s as his wife was when he met her and he s a college professor, that s not trite and disgusting, huh And then there are the friends of his dead wife who he fucked or attempted to fuck after her death loss makes people do strange things, but this was pushing it Well, clearly he has issues with women.I think this couple deserved each other I only wish they kept their issues to themselves At least they didn t reproduce. There is a piece of praise on the front of this book from the New York Times Book Review that readsat times I felt the book itself had a pulse I couldn t agree with this sentiment This book is a living, breathing testament to love To loss To grief To despair But mostly it makes Aura come alive once Say Her Name is written by Francisco Goldman in memory of his beloved wife Aura who died as a result of injuries she sustained in a freak swimming accident Aura was young, beautiful, vibrant She had so much to give the world Her husband Francisco was much older than she but together age did not matter In many respects Aura was the sensible one And it s this idea that torments Francisco in his grief as Aura s family blame him for not caring properly for their daughter The book is a book of love I wept openly throughout this read I wept for the loss of life, for the loss of Francisco s happiness I wept for the children they would never have I wept for the stories she would never write But mostly, and probably quite selfishly, I wept because I don t understand this love I do not believe that I have ever felt it And my jealous heart wishes that I could have what they had This is a powerful book You can feel the catharsis that Francisco must have felt as he poured their lives into this novel and that catharsis worked its way into my soul There was something freeing in knowing that there are good and pure things in this world That people do truly love and care for each other That even in death love remains triumphant That it s not about how many people you know or acquaintances you make but touching just one other lifeHold her tight, if you have her hold her tight, I thought, that s my advice to all the living Breathe her in, put your nose in her hair, breathe her in deeply Say her name It will always be her name Not even death can steal it Same alive as dead, always Aura Estrada I bought this book soon after it was first published in 2011 and I tried to read it I knew it was beautiful I knew it was important But for some reason I left it unfinished My life was busy at the time but mostly, I think perhaps I was too young to understand what exactly I was reading Or maybe not young But inexperienced, green, unknowing of things these last seven years or so have taught me I know now that the timing then was wrong I was not ready because I needed this book today This was the book I needed after a particularly emotional period of my life when I needed a release I needed my own catharsis And amidst the feelings of grief and pain, and the memories of love undying, shared by Fransisco in these pages I found my connection with humanity once again Highly recommended four and a half stars rounded up to five Grief is, by and large, a private and intimate thing We utter a few platitudes and then turn away in discomfort from who are laid bare by their grief And emotionally, we begin to withdraw.Francisco Goldman shatters those boundaries in his devastating book Say Her Name, forcing the reader to pay witness to the exquisite and blinding pain of a nearly unbearable loss He positions the reader as a voyeur in a most intimate sadness, revealing the most basic nuances and details and the most complex ramifications of the loss of someone dear.And in the process, he captures our attention, rather like Samuel Coleridge s Ancient Mariner, until the reader is literally as fascinated and transfixed with Aura Estrada Francisco Goldman s young and doomed wife as he himself is It is a masterful achievement, hard to read, hard to pull oneself away from The barebones of his story are these Francisco Goldman married a much younger would be writer named Aura, who gives every indication of literary greatness They revel in their marriage for two short years, but right before their second anniversary, Aura breaks her neck while body surfing and dies the next day Francisco is raw with grief, which is exacerbated by Aura s passionately devoted and controlling mother Juanita, who blames him for the tragedy.Brick by brick, Francisco builds a literary altar to the vibrant and exuberant woman he married And at the same time, he lays naked his own grief at her loss Little did I suspect would come pouring out of me, that I would ever learn what it was like to feel swallowed up by my own sobbing, grief sucking me like marrow from a bone And later Every day a ghostly train Every day the ruin of the day that was supposed to have been Every second on the clock clicking forward, anything I do or see or think, all of it made of ashes and charred shards, the ruins of the future Hungry to keep Aura alive, Francisco takes us back to Aura s past, to her complex relationship with her overbearing mother and her yearning for the father who left when she was only four years old setting her on a course to look for a father replacement He showcases various writings that Aura created in her advanced studies at Columbia and under the tutelage of two famous authors revealed in bios to be Peter Carey and Colum McCann for her MFA program He paints a word picture of Aura as a young girl, a daughter, a wife, and a writer on the cusp of potential greatness.And in order to keep himself sane, he channels his grief into his art, documenting their time together and Aura s extraordinary life This is why we need beauty to illuminate even what has most broken Not to help us transcend or transform it into something, but first and foremost to help us see it At its core, Say Her Name is not another grief book but a love story, a tribute to Aura, a universal narrative of what happens when one loved one survives another It is, I suspect, a novel that Francisco Goldman did not choose to write, but had to write It is a wrenching and eloquent book of remembrance.
- 350 pages
- Say her name
- Francisco Goldman
- 13 January 2019 Francisco Goldman