Sunday, June 22, 2014

What is Marie Manilla reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Marie Manilla, author of The Patron Saint of Ugly.

Her entry begins:
Okay. I’m totally cheating, since these may not be books I’m reading for the first time, but I’m probably re-reading one of them at any given moment. For me, they are my “how-to-write-a-novel” primers.

Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. I’m lumping them together because they were my introduction to magical realism, after which my reading and writing were never the same. I mean, who doesn’t love a novel where the blood from a nosebleed drips out as rubies, or where the blood of a dying spouse trickles out of the house, down the street, and around the corner, to announce the termination of a soul? Both novels grapple with large issues: revolutions and coups and countries splitting, but there is also lightness and levity and...[read on]
About The Patron Saint of Ugly, from the publisher:
Born in Sweetwater, West Virginia, with a mop of flaming red hair and a map of the world rendered in port-wine stains on every surface of her body, Garnet Ferrari is used to being an outcast. With her sharp tongue, she has always known how to defend herself against bullies and aggressors, but she finds she is less adept at fending off the pilgrims who have set up a veritable tent city outside her hilltop home, convinced that she is Saint Garnet, healer of skin ailments and maker of miracles.

Her grandmother, the indelible Nonna Diamante, believes that Garnet’s mystical gift can be traced back to the family’s origins in the Nebrodi Mountains of Sicily, and now the Vatican has sent an emissary to Sweetwater to investigate. Garnet, wanting nothing more than to debunk this “gift” and send these desperate souls packing, reaches back into her family’s tangled past and unspools for the Church a tale of love triangles on the shores of the Messina Strait; a sad, beautiful maiden’s gilded-cage childhood in blueblood Virginia; and the angelic, doomed boy Garnet could not protect.

Saint or not, Garnet learns that the line between reality and myth is always blurred, and that the aspects of ourselves we are most ashamed of can prove to be the source of our greatest strength, and even our salvation.
Visit Marie Manilla's website.

Writers Read: Marie Manilla.

--Marshal Zeringue