Lana Cook regarded the heavily embossed, chalk-colored
antique faience platter held aloft by her old friend and host, Frida Famosa. Frida’s
smallish fingers, each one dramatically bejeweled, gripped it tightly as she lowered
it to a table covered in ivory damask linen; another imaginable treasure unearthed
at Les Puces. One hardly noticed Frida’s
chewed fingernails. Lana kept her own nicotine and paint-stained hands out of
sight and fiddled the crochet lace edging of the tablecloth.
Frida’s perfume, a palliative honeysuckle, mingled
the sweet fragrance of milky white freesias—Lana’s favorite—set in graceful
arrangements around the table. Golden bangles at Frida’s wrists rang like
cowbells in the French countryside. Black vintage Dior draped her petite frame.
Charcoal-colored hair, wound into old-fashioned plaits, crowned her delicate features.
Looping her neck were multiple strands of pinkish seed pearls; her carefully
drawn crimson lips a triumphant moue. Frida was, in a word, parfait.
typiquement français,” Frida trilled, “pour notre invitée d’honneur.” She
smiled prettily at Lana. Frida’s voice evoked La Habana, a tuneful parade along El Malecón, the ancestral home of
Philippa Punch, a friend of Lana’s from London who
had joined her in Paris, sat beside Lana. Her deliberate, mouse-brown bob jerked
imperceptibly as she tiltedherhead, lowered her chin and savored the
main course: “Cela sent délicieusement bon,” she murmured. Before Philippa could
translate, Lana snapped: “I got it.”
Lana regarded woody chunks of meat suffocated under
a cream blanket and managed a wilted smile. Veal stew. It was veal, fucking stew.
What part of no meat did Frida not
get? Lana chewed her lip and thought, “This is what torture smells like.”
Alain Durand—handsome, silver-haired and branded
with the round, bookish spectacles of the literati—rose from his seat at the
head of the table. Alain’s 19-year-old daughter, Anne, shushed a boyfriend at
least a decade older than she, halting, temporarily, a quarrelsome susurration. “A toast!” Alain raised
a glass of red wine, a pinot noire from Sancerre or Alsace.
He was Frida’s lover; the man Frida expected would father
her child. Lana rejected that sense of dynasty, of trusting a smaller self to reinvent
her world. She’d know when to stop.
Alain grinned at Frida—husky, gleaming teeth—and to
Lana it looked like a victory sneer.
“To our American friend,” Alain proposed.
Crystal goblets came together, reflecting candlelight
like a shimmering ruby bouquet. Alain smiled broadly at Lana. She was
fair-haired where Frida was dark, and she was big-boned. Lana dressed at will,
never a second thought about what was acceptable. She was persuaded to lipstick
years ago by Frida; the one capitulation to make-up that Lana still embraced. She
was straightforward and men often misread that. To Frida’s dismay, Lana had no
compunction about solitary dining in restaurants. “You will be seen as a woman
alone. In Paris, that’s death,” Frida warned.
“To Lana,” Alain proclaimed loudly. The seduction
unnerved her. The room reverberated with the ferocious possibility of shattering
glass. “To Lana,” they chorused.
The wine was delicious, light and fruity. A plate heaped
with rice and saturated with stew was placed before her. Lana briefly
entertained the idea of an ostentatious challenge. She might remind Frida of a lengthy
telephone call just before she’d left New York. She had been to West 57th
Street to see an exhibition by the political artist, Sue Coe. The work—a
surrealistic blood bath—was monumental and life changing. The exhibition was
called Dead Meat; images Lana would
never forget. “I’ve stopped eating meat,” she’d told Frida, “Won’t touch the
There had already been enough tension. Alain had
been out all night. Lana never fully understood his position at Air France,
only that he could be called for an emergency at any time, night or day; that
he was some kind of troubleshooter.
She’d known Frida for over eleven years, having met
her soon after Lana’s divorce. They had been introduced at a dinner party on
Manhattan’s upper west side, at the home of mutual friends, Manu, a Basque
writer, and his wife Mimi. Lana’s ex had been a doctoral student in Mimi’s lab
and neitherwomanmissed him. Manu and Mimi had
conspired to bring the two young women together. “You have a lot in common,”
they told Lana. Then, Frida lived in the Marais. The first time she’d visited
Lana's apartment, the bookshelves, paintings, the tools of her trade and the
comforting disorder of the artist’s life prompted her to say: “I feel I am at
Over time, the writer and the painter had seen a
lot of each other in New York and Paris. Three years before, Frida’s odd procession
of lovers had ceased and Alain moved in. Lana liked him very much at first;
thought Frida had finally got herself the man of her making. His daughter,
Anne, came with the package, bringing her peculiar teenage rebellion.
Frida, the writer, was also a magician, possessed
of a mentalist’s ability to predict soon-to-be desirable quartiers of Paris.
She bought and sold like a seasoned trader on the floor of the stock exchange,
upgrading a few steps ahead of the developers who followed artists from one
undiscovered zone to the next, like dogs in heat. The arrival of Alain seemed
also to halt that quest and they remained at the multi-terraced duplex at the
top of Belleville.
Alain abided Frida’s ministrations, and her
attention to re-sculpting his exterior, with humor. She selected his clothes
and styled his hair in the relaxed manner of the cultured Socialists of the day.
The tortoise shell eyeglasses, he’d admitted to Lana, had no magnification. He
appeared at Frida’s side for book signings and cocktail parties, becoming more
at ease in her literary world. Women openly appraised him, adding to Frida’s pride
at her accomplishment. He had a study now.
Unlike her father, Anne furiously rejected Frida’s
attempts at re-fashioning a preference for plain sweaters and torn jeans. That
she eschewed makeup and jewelry confounded Frida. Anne’s friends, when they met
Frida, found her laughable; a bedizened bourgeois throwback who wrote
biographies of obscure women artists.
Anne left Belleville and crossed the Seine. Movie
posters of Jean Luc Godard and Agnes Varda came down; Che Guevara and Carlos
the Jackal disappeared. Her bedroom in Belleville became the unmistakably
masculine study that smelled of leather and oil paintings and books—all of
Lana had breakfasted alone in the kitchen directly
below the study, which served as a guestroom. Alain returned like a sleepy-eyed
tomcat, satisfied and indifferent at the same time. Frida appeared and Lana
watched as they discretely and cheerfully avoided each other. Frida did not ask
and Alain revealed nothing. Instead, he’d made small talk with Lana, practicing
his English, wondering aloud when she
would take advantage of the privacy and bring a lover back to the apartment.
“You are een Pareese so you ’ave to ’ave a lover!” Lana laughed, as she often
did, at Alain’s reference to her love life. Dinner was discussed, Alain given
charge of the shopping with a specific reference to a particular wine—white, as
it turned out—that Frida had requested.
Later that morning on the terrace adjoining the
study, Lana relished a rare burst of unadulterated sunshine before inhaling her
first Gauloises of the day. Parisians had returned from their holidays and
refilled what summer had emptied. The city thrummed. She’d turned 42 in August.
This trip was her birthday present to herself. She ran her hand through freshly
washed hair. Maybe she could, despite Frida’s protest, bring off a shorter
Below lay the treasure that was Paris, spread out
like the spilled contents of a fantasist’s drawer of whimsical bibelots and
steampunk collectibles. In the far distance the Eiffel Tower pricked the
horizon like a tiny tin toy. How lucky she was to have friends here. Until
she’d met Frida, Paris was where Lana, dressed in a patchwork denim miniskirt
and platform sandals, stood at the top of the stairs at Sacre Coeur over a
decade ago, and from behind rose-colored granny glasses symbolically waved
goodbye to her marriage. She still had the white butcher’s coat she’d bought at
Les Halles. When she’d asked the man what the hood was for he said: “To keep
off the blood.”
A heated banter rising from the kitchen had
interrupted Lana’s reverie. Baffled ambivalence rose sharply to shrill
accusation; the kind of manic French that Frida, who spoke a passable English,
usually avoided with Lana. She recognized Alain’s voice. Frida would have had
to reconnoiter when Alain returned from the shops. He was not backing down. It
was something to do with the wine.
“Alain! C’est la tradition.”
“Je ne te comprends pas.”
“Blanc avec le veau. Nous ne sacrifions pas la
“Tradition idiote. Vous devriez vivre avec votre
There it was, the telling, vous.
Molten gloom had swept across the sun and the sky
turned leaden. Lana had dressedhurriedly.
She’d stopped at the kitchen. “Do you need me? I thought I’d go see Wings.” Frida’s startled look belied her
cheerful response. “Ah, Wenders, your hero. Of course, go. We are fine.” Alain
cradled a bottle of wine like he might a woman’s back. “Bring back a lover,
Lana,” Alain admonished. “What’s for dinner?” Lana asked. A surprise, she’d
A few hours in a darkened theater in the company of
witnessing angels had returned Lana to the apartment, keenly blissful.
She’d found Frida and Anne chipping away at an old
argument. Alain mixed drinks while Anne’s boyfriend maintained a studied sulk behind
his cigarette. The only part she’d caught of Alain’s introduction was that he
worked in Jack Lang’s office and had something to do with the Fête de la Musique. He’d glanced at Lana,
a smoky inspection: enemy or accomplice?
And then Philippa Punch had arrived from London,
bringing her peculiar head mistress style, a jokiness that had the quality of a
scold. They had not seen each other since Philippa left New York. Lana’s warm greeting,
even after nearly a year, had been kept at arm’s length. Philippa, instead, had
appraised Lana’s uncomplicated style, the relaxed linen jumper Lana had adopted—the
costume of a painter—and she’d cracked: “Are you wearing your canvas now?”
Philippa had been quick to engage Frida and Alain. “Bonjour,
enfin, nous nous rencontrons. Je suis une vieille amie de Lana. J’ai beaucoup
entendu parler de vous mais elle vous avait gardé pour elle,” Philippa eyed
Lana, like a journalist who had scored a hard won interview, “…jusqu’à
On learning that Anne was starting at L’Institut
d’études politiques de Paris, Philippa had redirected her inquiry. “Ah oui,
Anne, Sciences Po. Je suis très
Philippa had stubbornly adhered to an accurate,
though soulless, French. Lana managed reasonably well with the language, but
she was far from fluent. Over the years her French had improved in fits and
starts when she’d traveled to France or attended an entire series of any French
film festival in New York. Lana pressed Frida not to resort to English when she
was in Paris, but, as in New York, Frida prevailed and English it was. Ignoring
a long-term friendship that had somehow managed to survive the language
difference, Philippa had deliberately corrected Lana’s French and balked at any
English spoken. When Frida had explained that they all relished a chance to
practice English, Philippa replied tartly: “Elle devrait parler français.” “But
we are easy here,” cried Frida. “Nous sommes en France,” Philippa insisted.
“C’est mieux pour elle.”
Lana had borne it all with tempered good will, buoyed
by herb-colored aperitifs. They had all been standing before Lana’s portrait of
Frida. It was a moody statement of Frida, the writer, painted when they’d first
met. It was a portraitFrida said
she treasured, and which had pride of place above the piano. Philippa had finally
crossed the line, effectively shutting Lana out of a lengthy conversation, when
she’d declared, in English, that Frida’s comments were too complicated in
“She says you made her older than she is,” Philippa
quipped, finally. Lana’s look of consternation confused Frida until Anne
whispered something to her. “Non, non,” Frida cried. “Je citais Picasso. Il
a dit: Vous verrez, elle finira par lui ressembler….” She pressed Lana’s arm. “I adore this painting. I say I will grow into it. And I am.”
Lana inspected the dinner plate before her. No
point in bringing up the veal, adding insult to injury. She resolved to ignore
Phil’s earlier impertinence. Instead Lana picked over the Blanquette de Veau, spearing nuggets of carrot and mushroom until
there was only the meat, which she pushed aside.
“Lana, tu ne manges pas de la viande?” asked
Philippa. Lana rejoined with an infuriated glare. Philippa, taken aback,
stuttered: “Sorry. No harm—”
Distracted by Alain’s interruption, Lana addressed his
requestand recounted her
introduction to Philippa a few years before. There had been a gallery opening
on Prince Street. In an indifferent fusion of English and French, Lana told
them how she’d organized the after party for the painter at a Mexican
restaurant on nearby Broadway. Philippa was a friend of the guest of honor;
another Brit. Lana discovered that Philippa was teaching at Dalton, on the Upper
East Side, around the corner from Lana’s studio. “I’m not exactly shy, so I
ordered pitchers of Margaritas,” Lana remembered, grinning. “Someone joked
about that, would there be enough?” She paused for a moment. “And then Phil
said, ‘She’s American. If there isn’t enough she’ll just order more. That’s
what they do.’”
Anne’s lover—Denis Hervé as it turned
out—scrutinized Lana. He threw himself back from the table in an attitude
reminiscent of a cocky protagonist in a Godard film, sucked deeply on a
cigarette and indicated to Lana, a possible ally. She nodded and he tossed a pack
of Camels. Denis stabbed the air with his smoking hand. “C’est meilleur, non?
We can speak any way we like. We ’ave no language police.”
In the decompressed interim before the salad and
the cheese, Lana took her cue from the two men and, overriding Philippa’s
disapproval, she dragged deeply on an unfiltered Camel. Champagne followed wine.
Stories emerged from laughter, protestation, and cigarette smoke, like some
ephemeral Book Of Lives, until Lana asked
about the demonstration she had wandered into on her way back from the film. Denis
explained that it was an ongoing protest against political repression, for the
students killed at Tienanmen Square.
“Still?” Frida asked.
Met with appreciable silence, Frida quickly changed
the subject to the most controversial topic of the day: La folie des grandeurs.
“Mitteramsès,” she scoffed.
“Non! Frida, la Pyramide est magnifique,” Alain retorted.
Anne agreed: “You ‘ave to come into the present Frida, like Mitterand.
“It doesn’t fit, that’s it. Passe-partout,” Frida insisted.
“We’ll see tomorrow, eh Phil?” said Lana.
Slow crawling cheeses, like Brie and Camembert, and
crumbling wedges of blue-veined Auvergne appeared. Alain stabbed the Coeur de
Neufchâtel with comic thrusts. Lana caught Frida’s unmistakable wince.
Alain, less steady now, raised his glass. A grin, like
a carnival clown logo, distorted his face. “Frida, mon coeur…”
“C’est assez!” Frida laughed tightly.
Lana withdrew her grudge and threw her arm across
her friend. “C’est bon de vous…hum…te revoir,
Phil.” There was the familiar stiffening of shoulders.
They rose from the table as if on cue, while Lana
lingered. She toyed with a small vase of freesias, inhaling the peppery sweet
breath of the tiny bulbs. Some things stay with you forever, she thought
dreamily, like the scent of a favorite flower. Looking around she saw the rooms
were bigger now with costlier ‘finds’ from the flea markets, but still so much
like her friend.
Frida wrote at a little table in a corner of the
living room near the ground floor window, which opened on to the street. Copies
of her books in French and Spanish stacked neatly along the windowsill, biographies
of women artists, written from the inside, as her critics described. Souvenirs—those
artifacts of memory—lay everywhere. One had only to admire any one of them to
be graced with a fascinating story of a known artist—a painter or musician or
another writer. Ornately framed photographs, like silent, overdressed guests,
crammed every tabletop. There were photographs of the two of them when they’d
first met. Frida in full skirt and embroidered shawl; Lana in miniskirt and tights—in
Instead of the usual after-dinner seduction of
danceable Cuban music, Lana heard the voice of Haydée Alba from the living room.
Frida was transformed by music, especially the
Cuban artists and the early recordings of Sierra Maestra. She was a spontaneous
singer with a gay, operatic voice. As a girl, she’d known that when music
filled their rooms in Paris, her father could no longer abide melancholy.
Lana recalled, with pleasure, her introduction to Alba’s
music. For three months Parisians had appropriated the streets of Buenos Aires.
She recalled, as well, Alain’s dogged pursuit of her friend. He courted Frida from
the start, disregarding the peeved look of the woman on his arm. Lana
remembered the feeling, as if she had been watching a betrayal play out in real
time. Memory is like the tide. You never know what it will return to the shore.
“I think you mean red meat.”
Lana, startled, looked up. “Boeuf!” Frida emphasized, “Not the white meat.” “Doesn’t matter,”
Lana said. “Pas des differences.” “Okay,” said Frida. “We are good?” “Oui,”
replied Lana. “Of course. We are good.”
They stood for a moment beforeLana cheered:“Let’s
dance! Let’s all go to that club!”
Tango?” Frida laughed. “La boîte à
“I forgot that. The box of shivers,” Lana
late,” Frida said. “Ce n’est pas certain.”
Lana goaded them, but Anne and Denis were already taking
their leave. Alain yawned and Frida lowered the music. “Alain, I think Lana
wants to, how do you say, party?”
“I’ll go by myself,” Lana insisted.
“You ’ave to be careful Lana,” Alain warned, “It’s
late and the Metro—.”
“I’ll go,” Philippa piped. “We’ll get a cab.”
Philippa decried the notion that she, too, wanted to dance. Left on her own,
she said, Lana would do something foolish.
“Hang on,” Lana said, and rummaged through her bag.
She plucked a single decorative chopstick from items she’d bought earlier and
pierced her long hair quickly knotted atop her head.
She grabbed an oversize linen jacket; soft
shouldered, with deep pockets, the color of wheat and bearing the shape of her.
“You still have this!” Philippa cried. “Yes,” Lana declared. “I’ll wear it
until it falls off me.” Philippa eyed Lana, unabashed. “Won’t be long then.”
The taxi moved swiftly. Streets blurred from one to
the next along the broad boulevard heading for the 3rd. Lana relaxed
into the movableness of the passing night scene while Phillipa, bolt upright,
prattled on to the driver in French. He willfully ignored her, rarely easing up
on the gas.
“Feeling better, Phil?” Lana asked.
“English, Phil, s’il vous plaît,” Lana sighed. “Lowered
the shoulders a bit, I mean.”
“What did?” Phil asked, frowning.
“Dinner, wine,” said Lana. “You seemed tense when
“Me?” Philippa choked. “You were a bit bothered. What’s
with the no meat thing? Just like that?
The cab swerved around Place de la République.
“Almost there,” said Lana.
“Your friend is lovely,” Philippa offered.
“She would go dancing at the drop of a hat once, or
as you would say, chapeau.” Lana recalled, for Philippa, a
memorable scene of Frida upbraiding the DJ when he’d leapt to disco at
midnight, when she’d come for the salsa at the same club they were headed. She’d
got her salsa back, though. “You couldn’t drag her away from a dance floor,”
“This is okay here. I think,” Philippa said, and
paid the driver.
They stood at the bottom of Rue Volta. The departing
cab took with it the last ambient noise on the street, leaving them in darkness
that fell over their shoulders like a damp towel. Buildings crowded the narrow
streets with romanticized stoicism, where even the curbs were swaybacked. An
ancient half-timbered house appeared under a wan streetlight. It was a dark,
not necessarily grim, but aphotic corner of a fairy tale.
As Lana approached an unlit, unmarked doorway
Philippa commented that it was a weeknight, that maybe it was closed. “No, this
is it,” Lana said, and found a bell. A small rectangular window at eye-level
slid open. A door appeared in the black patch on the wall and they entered a
dimly lit corridor that led to the bar and a dance floor. Nothing had changed. There
were the familiar red banquettes, the lurking expectation of the picaresque. An
Afro Cuban beat sensuously nudged couples around the dance floor, while others
engaged in low conversation over drinks at surrounding tables. Lana and Philippa
were directed to the coat check where Philippa promptly surrendered her jacket
and headed for a table.
“Votre manteau Madame?”
“Non, Je suis bien,” Lana replied.
The hostess persisted, indicating Lana’s jacket.
“C’est ok,” Lana said, returning a smile.
“Vous devez enlever votre veste, Madame,” the
hostess replied, less gently. “C’est la règle de la maison.”
Lana shrugged and shoved her hands in the pockets.
“But, but, this is my look. C’est mon look!”
Without a second thought, the hostess conceded
Lana’s point. “Ah, excusez-moi Madame. Bonne soirée.”
Lana swanned through the macaronic chorus of Africans,
Spaniards, the French and the English. Lana suspected she was the only American
in the club.
A formidable and very handsome Black man stood
before Philippa. He shrugged in exaggerated disappointment.
“Excusez-moi,” Philippa said, “Je viens
d'apercevoir mon ami. Peut-être plus tard?”
Not likely, Lana thought. Before the man could
withdraw, Lana piped: “I’ll dance! I mean, je danserai.”
“Okay,” he said.
“Do you speak English?" Lana asked.
“Non,” he replied. “Ça n’a pas d’importance.”
“No,” Lana said, “It doesn’t matter. You’re right.”
She let him lead her to the dance floor.
The music seemed to have no end and no beginning, a
seamless roll from one wave to the next, varying only in tempo. Lana noticed
that Philippa was engaged in conversation with another couple so she turned her
full attention to her dance partner. His arms were like tree trunks and she
felt like a doll. At any moment she might be tempted to hop on his considerable
shoes and dance as she used to with her father when she was a girl. She stopped
only once, to slide her jacket to her waist, tying it tightly. The man guided
her effortlessly and they sailed around the dance floor, a synergetic pulse.
Lana noticed another couple as seemingly
mismatched. The woman was tall, dark-skinned, voluptuous and turned out in a figure
hugging flame red dress. Oversize gold rings, as delicate as sound waves, swung
from her ears. Her partner was a head shorter, at least. He wriggled around
her, making her laugh, always just slightly under the beat. His copper-colored
hair was pulled back into a ponytail. He wore tight jeans and cowboy boots, which
curled at the toe. His skin was an even paler reflection of Lana’s.
Lana finally begged a respite. Her long hair had
come undone and spilled onto her shoulders, a mermaid rising from the deep. At
the same time, the other couple separated and Lana’s dance partner enveloped
the woman in an intimate, familiar embrace.
Philippa introduced Lana to Michelle, an American,
and her husband Victor, a native Parisian. She was a self-described, frothing-at-the
mouth trade unionist. Victor,
clearly besotted with his garrulous American wife, was an editor of political
journals. They were, as it turned out,
friends of the redhead, whose name was Ian Russell. He was a bass player from
London, on a holiday jaunt after touring with his band.
“They were just telling me about the Fête de
l'Humanité,” Philippa offered. “The one that Denis…?” Lana asked. “No,”
Philippa corrected. “That was the Fête de
Michelle laughed heartily. “An easy mistake. Ian
hasn’t been yet. You two should go while he’s still in Paris.”
“Right,” said Ian. “Stray Cats played, you said.
Philippa yawned. It was late and she was tired.
“It’s early, actually,” Ian said. “Nearly four. Pecker
Rejuvenated, Lana exclaimed: “I could go all night.
You know what I’ve always wanted to do? Sacre Coeur at dawn.”
Philippa rolled her eyes, exasperated.
“I’ll be fine, Phil,” Lana said.
“We have time,” Ian said. “To walk, I mean. If
you’re up for it?”
“You speak my language,” Lana laughed.
“Let’s get cracking then,” Ian said.
Victor assured Lana they would get Philippa to her
hotel. “We have to be home before the kids wake up,” he offered.
“Dogs,” Michelle explained.
Ian and Lana waved as their friends, tucked into a
compact deux chevaux, drove away. The sky was still black as pitch, like
the split second of blank screen before the film credits roll. A dubious moment
passed between them. Ian remarked that his friends treated their dogs like
children. Lana asked: “Do you want kids?” Ian replied emphatically: “Never.” He
asked: “Do you?” “No,” Lana said.
They stood quietly in the now indecisive dark as
couples emerged like sleepy-eyed rabbits from their burrow and scooted around
them. Ian grabbed her hand. “Okay?” Lana cocked her head and stared at
him for a moment. “Yes, I think I am.”
The writer is deeply grateful to Virginie Pirlet for her patience and her impeccable French. Additional help comes from Vicky and Michel Maubrey with no less appreciation and love.
PARIS, WHEN IT SIZZLES is an
original short story by Linda Danz.
STORIES ON THE AMERICAN FRIEND
Writers Guild of America, East #R28299
A native New Yorker, I was born on the lower East Side before it was trendy. Way before.
Years ago, when the corporate world of magazine publishing booted me out the door, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and decided after struggling as a painter for most of my adult life that I would struggle as a writer.
The idea for my novel “A Birdhouse In Brooklyn” came from an original idea I had for a screenplay, “The Birdhouse.” While writing that screenplay—a collaborative effort—I felt my story was bigger than a movie and I began in earnest to write it as novel.
The novel is entirely a work of fiction. Names, characters, business organizations, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. The use of names of actual persons, places, and events is incidental to the plot, and is not intended to change the entirely fictional character of the work.
A BIRDHOUSE IN BROOKLYN has been registered with the Writers Guild of America, East #R20993 (June 13, 2006). No part of it may be posted or reprinted without permission from the author, Linda Danz.
All photographs, unless otherwise credited, are mine.
Alea jacta est
Foto: *I.N., Nubes de esta tarde, por el norte, 2012.*
Ya hay una fecha y es inminente. Sólo quedan los últimos preparativos y
concentrarse para que todo ...
5 years ago
Books at my side
The Shadow Girls. A novel by Henning Mankell
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
The Secret Life Of Cows by Rosamund Young
Quakeland On the road to America's next devastating earthquake by Kathryn Miles
Arrival. Stories Of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Kennedy's Brain, by Henning Mankell.
Blue Melody. Tim Buckley Remembered by Lee Underwood
Breath Visible. Stories by Linda Danz
After the Fire. A novel by Henning Mankell
1185 Park Avenue. A memoir by Anne Roiphe
Small Hours. A novel by Jennifer Kitses
Down the Rabbt Hole. Curious adventures and cautionary tales of a former Playboy Bunny by Holly Madison.
Mayhem. A memoir by Sigrid Rausing
Unacknowledged. An exposé of the world's greatest secret by Steven M. Greer, M.D.
The Delicate Prey and other stories by Paul Bowles
St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America's Hippest Street by Ada Calhoun
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
The Men In My Life. A memoir of love and art in 1950s Manhattan by Patricia Bosworth.
Proust. The Search by Benjamin Taylor
Jackson C Frank: The clear hard light of genius. A memoir by Jim Abbott
The Intruder. A crime novel by Hakan Östlundh
Georgia A Novel of Georgia O'Keeffe
Eveningland. Stories by Michael Knight
Liars and Saints. A novel by Maile Meloy
Depths, by Henning Mankell
Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler
Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs
Quicksand. What It Means To Be a Human being by Henning Mankell
The Trespasser. A novel by Tana French
Not My Father's Son. A memoir by Alan Cumming
M Train by Patti Smith
Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want it. Stories by Maile Meloy
Tribe. On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger
The White Rage. The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson, Ph.D.
H Is For Hawk, by Helen Macdonald
I Married a Communist by Philip Roth
Good-Bye Columbus and Five Short Stories, Letting Go by Philip Roth
The Prague Orgy. By Philip Roth
JFK and the Unspeakable. Why he died and why it matters. By James W. Douglass
Chasing Lost Time. The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff. Soldier, spy and translator. By Jean Findlay
Meanwhile On a Roof In Chinatown. Ingrid Rudefors
The Noise Of Time. A novel by Julian Barnes
Haunted. A novel by Chuck Palahniuk
Hangsaman. A novel by Shirley Jackson
Little Night. A novel by Luanne Rice
What Belongs To You. A novel by Garth Greenwell
The Hungry Girls and other stories by Patricia Eakins
The Lemon Orchard. A novel by Luanne Rice
Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien
The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
My Name Is Lucy Barton. Novel by Elizabeth Strout
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
In Another Country. Selected short stories by David Constantine
Brothers. The Hidden History Of the Kennedy Years by David Talbot
Eileen. A novel by Ottessa Moshfegh
A Wailing Of a Town. An oral history of San Pedro Punk and more 1977-1985 by Craig Ibarra
The Devil's Chessboard : Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the rise of America's secret government / David Talbot
In Bed With Gore Vidal by Tim Teeman
Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Palo Alto Stories by James Franco
A Drink Before the War. A novel by Dennis Lehane
Empire Of Self. A Life Of Gore Vidal by Jay Parini.
The Heart Goes Last. A novel by Margaret Atwood
The Hour Of Sunlight. One Palestinian's journey from prisoner to peacemaker, by Sami Al Jundi and Jen marlowe
Beautiful You. A novel by Chuck Palahniuk
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His years Of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
Wind/Pinball Two Novels by Haruki Murakami
Accidental Genius. How John Cassavetes invented the American independent film, by Marshall Fine
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
Stone Mattress. Nine Wicked Tales by Margaret Atwood
Roseanna, By Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö
The Secret Place. A novel by Tara French
John, by Cynthia Lennon
Bird By Bird. Some instructions on writing and life by Anne Lamott
Hard Laughter. A novel by Anne Lamott
The Breaks. A novel by Richard Price.
The Master of Petersburg. A novel by J.M. Coetzee
Lucky Alan and Other Stories by Jonathan Lethem
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake. A novel by Jenny Wingfield
The Wanderers, by Richard Price
Dodger, by Terry Pratchett
The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid
The Weight Of Water. A novel by Anita Shreve
The Skeleton Road. A novel by Val McDermid
The Line Of Beauty. A novel by Alan Hollinghurst
The Mocking bird Next Door. Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills
Rescue. A novel byAnita Shreve
Nora Webster. A novel by Colm Tóibín
The Divorce Party. A novel by Laura Dave
Lucky Us. A novel by Amy Bloom
The Assassination Of Margaret Thatcher. Stories by Hilary Mantel
The Safe Place. A novel by Tana French
After Everything. A novel by Suellen Dainty
Between Friends. Stories by Amos Oz
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Childhood Of Jesus. A novel by J.M. Coetzee
Broken Harbor. A novel by Tana French
The Likeness. A novel by Tana French
The Childhood Of Jesus. A novel by J.M. Coetzee
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
The Voice Is All. The Lonely Victory Of Jack Kerouac by Joyce Johnson
The Unwitting. A novel by Ellen Feldman
The Fourth Wall. A novel by Michael Alton Gottlieb
Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
Martin and John. A novel by Dale Peck
The Secrets Of Mary Bowser. A novel by Lois Leveen
Afterwords. Letters On the Death Of Virginia Woolf. Edited by Sybil Oldfield
Nine Stories. J.D. Salinger
The Southern Woman. Stories by Elizabeth Spencer
Daughter Of the King.Growing Up in Gangland by Sandra Lansky and William Stadiem
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour an Introduction. J.D. Salinger
The Catcher In the Rye. J.D. Salinger
The Sociopath Next Door. Martha Stout
A Cup Of Tea. A novel of 1917 by Amy Ephron
The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
The Moon Of Innocence by Uke Jackson
The Holocaust Kid by Sonia Pilcer
J.D. Salinger Life by Kenneth Slawenski
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End Of the World by Haruki Murakami
Lab 257. The disturbing story of the government's Secret Plum Island germ laboratory. By Michael Carroll Christopher
The Man From Beijing. A novel by Henning Mankell
The Wasp Factory. A novel by Iain Banks
The Reluctant Fundamentalist. A novel by Mohsin Hamid
New Ways To Kill Your Mother: Writers and their families by Colm Tóibín
A Visit From the Goon Squad. Novel by Jennifer Egan
We Live In Water. Stories by Jess Walter
The Stand. Complete and uncut edition by Stephen King
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
Princess Noire. The tumultuous reign of Nina Simone. By Nadine Cohodas.
Italian Shoes. A novel by Henning Mankell
Blaze. A novel by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King
The Rabbit Factory. A novel by Larry Brown
Gone Girl. A novel by Gillian Flynn
Less Than Angels. A novel by Barbara Pym
Everything You Know by Zoë Heller
End In Tears by Ruth Rendell
What Was She Thinking? (Notes on a scandal) by Zoë Heller
We Are Taking Only What We Need. Stories by Stephanie Powell Watts
The Believers. A novel by Zoë Heller
Excellent Women. A novel by Barbara Pym
The Savage City. Race, Murder, and a Generation On the Edge by T.J. English
New York Stories. Edited by Diana Secker Tesdell
Making Toast.A Family Story by Roger Rosenblatt
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned. Stories by Wells Tower
Final Justice. The True Story of the Richest Man Ever Tried For Murder, by Steven Naifeh Smith and Gregory White Smith.
The Innocent Man. Murder and Justice in a Small Town, by John Grisham
Jackson Pollock. An American Saga by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
Seek My Face. A novel by John Updike
Trouble. A novel by Kate Christensen
The Astral. A novel by Kate Christensen
The President. A novel by Georges Simenon.
Tropic Moon. A novel by Georges Simenon
The Widow. A novel by Georges Simenon
The Strangers In the House. A novel by Georges Simenon
Pulse. Stories by Julian Barnes
The Mayor of MacDougal Street. A memoir by Dave Van Ronk with Elijah Wald
The Angry Buddhist. A novel by Seth Greenland
The Furies. A novel by Janet Hobhouse
The Art Of Racing In the Rain. A novel by Garth Stein
The Human Fly and other stories by T.C. Boyle
Monsieur Pain, by Roberto Bolaño
Why Orwell Matters, by Christopher Hitchens
Van Gogh. The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
The Sense Of An Ending. A novel by Julian Barnes
The End Of Normal. A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life. Stephanie Madoff Mack
Red Lights. By George Simenon
Knockemstiff. Stories by Donald Ray Pollock
The Devil All the Time. A novel by Donald Ray Pollock
Down and Out In Paris and London by George Orwell
The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why by Amanda Ripley
Jane Jacobs Urban Visionary by Alice Sparberg Alexiou
This Is Not Your City. Stories by Caitlin Horrocks
A Good Hard Look. A novel by Ann Napolitano
Tell All. By Chuck Palahnluk
The Art Fair. A novel by David Lipsky
Leaving Van Gogh. A novel by Carol Wallace
Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. A road trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky
Apathy For the Devil; a 70s memoir by Nick Kent
Writing Treatments That Sell: How To Create and Market Your Story Ideas to the Motion Picture and TV Industry. By Kenneth Atchity and Ch-Li Wong
Nothing That Meets the Eye. The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Hghsmith
The Price Of Salt. A novel by Patricia Highsmith
The Talented Miss Highsmith. The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith by Joan Schenkar
The Death and Life Of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Housekeeping. A novel by Marilynne Robinson
The Lost Art Of Reading. Why books matter in a distracted time by David L. Ulin
What I TalkAbout WhenI Talk About Running. A memoir by Haruki Murakami
Auntie Mame. An Irreverent Escapade by Patrick Dennis
The Empty Family. Stories by Colm Tóibín
Strange Fruit. A novel by Lillian Smith
Easy Riders Raging Bulls: How the Sex 'n Drugs 'n Rock n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood by Peter Biskind
Everyman, by Philip Roth
The Humbling by Philip Roth
The Buddha and the Terrorist by Satish Kumar
The Elephant Vanishes. Stories by Haruki Murakami
Over the Rainbow? Hardly. Collected short seizures by Chandler Brossard
Nemesis, by Philip Roth
The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories by Valerie Martin
The Three-Arched Bridge by Ismail Kadare
The Habit Of Being. Letters of Flannery O'Connor
Flannery O'Connor. The Complete Stories
A Recent Martyr. A novel by Valerie Martin
Flannery. A Life of Flannery O'Connor by Brad Giooch
The Confessions Of Edward Day. A novel by Valerie Martin
A Deadly Secret. The Strange Disappearance of Kathie Durst by Matt Birkbeck
The Distinguished Guest. A novel by Sue Miller
Almost There. The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman by Nuala O'Faolain
The Lake Shore Limited. A novel by Sue Miller
Waiting To Die. Poems and Short Stories by Lawrence Ghana Hayes
The Shock Doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism by Naomi Klein
Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis
How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer
Antwerp. A novel by Robert Bolaño
Watermark. Essays by Joseph Brodsky
Mr. Peanut. A novel by Adam Ross
How Shall I Tell the Dog?: And Other Final Musings by Miles Kington
black swan green. A novel by David Mitchell
The Shallows. What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr
Field Notes On Democracy; Listening To the Grasshoppers. Essays by Arundhati Roy
The Sea. A novel by John Banville
The Visitor. A novel by Maeve Brennan
The Springs Of Affection. Stories of Dublin by Maeve Brennan
The Long-Winded Lady. Notes from the New Yorker by Maeve Brennan.
Green Witch. A novel by Alice Hoffman
Here On Earth. A novel by Alice Hoffman
Fall River Dreams. A Team's quest for glory—a town's search for its soul by Bill Reynolds
War Talk by Arundhati Roy
The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett
When You Ae Engulfed In Flames. By David Sedaris
A Fine & Private Place. By Peter S. Beagle
The Mole People. Life In the Tunnels Beneath New York City by Jennifer Toth
The Uncommon Reader. A novella by Alan Bennett
Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It. Stories by Maile Meloy
Burning Your Own by Glenn Patterson
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Lit. A memoir by Mary Karr
Beneath The Neon; Life and Death in the Tunnels Of Las Vegas. By Matthew O'Brien. Photos by Danny Mollohan
The Uncommon Reader. A novella by Alan Bennett
The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Felix Holt the Radical. A novel by George Eliot
Hollywood Animal. A memoir by Joe Eszterhas
The Blackwater Lightship. A novel by Colm Toíbin
Thelonious Monk. The Life and Times of an American Original. A biography by Robin D.G. Kelley
A Good School. A novel by Richard Yates
Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Why we need a green revolution—and how it can renew America by Thomas L. Friedman
In Praise Of Slowness. How a worldwide movement is challenging the cult of speed by Carl Honoré
The International. A novel by Glenn Patterson
Half Broke Horses. A true life novel by Jeannette Walls
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico. Illustrated by Angela Barrett
The Drunkard's Walk. How randomness rules our lives by Leonard Mlodinow
Damage. A novel by Josephine Hart
Night and Day, a novel by Virginia Woolf
A Paradise Built In Hell. The extraordinary communities that arise in disaster, by Rebecca Solnit
Rhyming Life & Death. A novel by Amos Oz
Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff by Andrew Kirtzman
Buffalo Lockjaw. A novel by Greg James
The Glass Castle. A memoir by Jeannette Walls
Beyond Black. A novel by Hilary Mantel
Disturbing the Peace. A novel by Richard Yates
Netherland. A novel by Joseph O'Neill
Knots. A novel by Nuruddin Farah
Cold Spring Harbor. A novel by Richard Yates
This Is Burning Man. Changing the world through art cars, bone towers, Danger Ranger,smut shacks, fire cannons, Glitter Camp, fighting robots, exploding men, princess warriors, pulsing soundscapes, neon skies, metal dragons, and Dr. Megavolt—the rise of the new American underground. By Brian Doherty
The Collected Short Stories of Richard Yates. Introduction by Richard Russo
Love, Anarchy, & Emma Goldman. A biography by Candace Falk
Firstborn. Poems by Louise Glück
Southern Horrors and Other Writings. The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900
Answered Prayers by Truman Capote
Mrs. Astor Regrets. The hidden betrayals of a family beyond reproach by Meryl Gordon
Conversations With Capote by Lawrence Grobel
Vanessa and Virginia. A novel by Susan Sellers
Blue Diary. A novel by Alice Hoffman
The Easter Parade. A novel by Richard Yates
The Thing Around Your Neck. Stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A Tragic Honesty. The life and work of Richard Yates by Blake Bailey
Half In Love. Stories by Maile Meloy
The Complete Stories of Truman Capote.
Strangers. A novel by Anita Brookner
Skylight Confessions. A novel by Alice Hoffman
This Land Is Their Land; reports from a divided nation by Barbara Ehrenreich
Brooklyn. A novel by Colm Tóibín
Waltz With Bashir; a Lebanon War Story. A graphic novel by Ari Folman and David Polonsky
The Healing Touch For Cats by Dr. Michael W. Fox
Dear Genius…A memoir Of My Life With Truman Capote by Jack Dunphy
Crime and Punishment In America. Why the solutions to America's most stubborn social crisis have not worked—and what will. By Elliott Currie
Capote: a biography by Gerald Clarke
Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A. by Mumia Abu-Jamal
The Song Is You, a novel by Arthur Phillips
The Story of the Night, a novel by Colm Tóibín
How It Ended: New and Collected Stories by Jay McInerney
Lockdown America: Police and prisons in the age of crisis by Christian Parenti
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian
The Irish Famine; a documentary by Colm Tóibín and Diarmaid Ferriter
A Saint On Death Row; The Story of Dominique Green by Thomas Cahill
Flannery: A Life Of Flannery O'Connor by Brad Gooch
The Foreign Legion by Clarice Lispector. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
Family Ties by Clarice Lispector. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
Murder Chez Proust by Estelle Monbrun.
Assata; an autobiography by Assata Shakur aka Joanne Chesimard; member of the Black Liberation Army given political asylum in Cuba.
Born Standing Up: a comic's life by Steve Martin
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
The Yellow Wind by David Grossman. Translated from the Hebrew by Haim Watzman.