Tag Archives: Letters

#Interviewsintranslation Estrella Cardona Gamio (@EstrellaCG ) and LETTER TO CHARO. Small is beautiful

Hi all:

I’d been promising you more interviews and here is a very special one for me. I loved the novel Carta a Charo when I first read it in Spanish and I was lucky enough to be asked to translate it. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a Spanish writer, Estrella Cardona Gamio, and her novel Letter to Charo.

First, the author tells us a bit about herself.

Author Estrella Cardona Gamio
Author Estrella Cardona Gamio

I have a BA in Fine Arts and I’m an author of novels, stories and children’s tales, I have also been a member of the Spanish Association of Journalists and Correspondents, and I’ve contributed editorials and short tales to different publications. I have also collaborated in radio with my own featured programmes. My first novel was self-published in paper years back, El otro jardín (The Other Garden). In March 2006, I published a book of short stories, La dependienta (The Shop Girl), with a publishing company in Madrid, hybrid publishing. In 1999, my sister, María Concepción, registered the publishing company C. CARDONA GAMIO EDICIONES (that started as an online publishing company that same year). From 2006 we started publishing books in paperback format and from the 28th April 2012 we are on Amazon, in Kindle format, broadening our horizons.

Letter to Charo by Estrella Cardona Gamio. Translated by Olga Núñez Miret
Letter to Charo by Estrella Cardona Gamio. Translated by Olga Núñez Miret

Here are the questions:

  • When and how did you start writing? I started writing novels when I was eight years old, instinctively copying others. I was an avid reader and wanted to imitate the writers I read. It was a game to start with but with time it stopped being one.
  • Describe for us your experience as an independent (self-published) writer: Very satisfying. Like many first-time writers, I went through the litany of sending inquiries to publishing companies and finally when Amazon reached Spain, I found what I was looking for, a serious and honest company. My official baptism of fire in the indie world couldn’t have been better.
  • Is there a moment that you remember with particular affection from your career as a writer, up to now? For me, the experience of writing is already the best of all moments.
  • What made you decide to translate your novel Carta a Charo (now available in English as Letter to Charo)? The fact that the action of this novel, now Letter to Charo, develops through the exchange of letters, between London and Barcelona, and I thought it would be very appropriate to translate it, and as you are an excellent translator (her words, not mine) I approached you with the project.
  • Tell us a bit more about your novel. It’s a novel written with plenty of love and I enjoyed the possibilities the interaction between the protagonists all immersed in the same novel, but so different between them, gave me, as they progressively share with us their thoughts and their personality. Charo’s character is a jewel, a true finding, as without her there would be no novel.
  • Do you have any advice for your writer colleagues (and especially for new writers)? Not to feel disappointed if they are not successful from the very beginning. Writing is a beautiful but thankless profession. We shouldn’t look for millions of sales, or for becoming one of the top ten writers, we should try to write well and not lose our patience in the process. All the writers who persevered triumphed in the end and that’s the important thing.

Here a review, written by a publisher, Marlene Moleon:

“Epistolary novels allow us to get close and personal with the intimacy of a character in a way not possible through any other narrative form. It is like entering the world of a person as she is, without embellishments or interpretations on behalf of the narrator. Estrella Cardona Gamio shows us her mastery of the genre with LETTER TO CHARO.

A short novel where rich human feelings and passions fit perfectly in the short number of pages given.”

Link to Letter to Charo:

http://relinks.me/B01LY90NED

 

Follow Estrella Cardona Gamio:

http://www.ccgediciones.com

http://www.estrellacardonagamio.com/blog

https://www.facebook.com/estrellacardonagamioautora/

https://twitter.com/EstrellaCG/

 

Thanks so much to Estrella for her interview and on my behalf for her words and to her and her sister Concha for the opportunity to translate this great novel, thanks to all of you for reading and don’t forget to like, share, comment and CLICK!

#BookWorm @FTThum Review of Letters of Note by @LettersOfNote

February 2015, and I am here (finally!) to share a book which I bought myself for Christmas 2014 – a little self-love J. Yes, it has been a busy January but better late than never because I am compelled.

Title:               Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
Compiled:      Shaun Usher
Publisher:       Canongate Books Ltd & Unbound (24 October 2013)
Website:         http://www.lettersofnote.com/ & www.shaunusher.com
ISBN-13:        9781782112235
ISBN-10:        1782112235
Pages: Hardback, 384 pages
Genre: Literary Non-Fiction, Anthology

What’s it about?

This is an anthology of letters from the 17th century to present day written by a myriad of personalities including the likes of Zelda Fitzgerald, Albert Einstein, Mick Jagger and Roald Dahl.

These letters compiled by Shaun Usher were selected from a vast number of online contributions (see website above) consisting of different types of letters ranging from humorous to angry, sentimental to dispassionate letters, and in different contexts. They provide deeper insights to the events of history and the people we thought we knew so much of.

This is a book filled with beautiful words, expressions, styles; and worth having a copy if only for posterity.

To quote the website’s blurb about the book:

Letters of Note is a collection of 125 of the world’s most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters.

 From Virginia Woolf’s heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II’s recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression ‘OMG’ in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi’s appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop’s beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives.

And it is indeed the case.

And here’s an excerpt from a letter from Rebecca West to HG Wells. To understand the context, the book provides the background story. In this instance, HG Wells invited Rebecca West to dinner in response to her scathing review of his book, ‘Marriage’ in 1912. They met and fell in love, and went on to have an affair which lasted 11 years. This letter was West’ response when HG Wells’ attempted to break out their relationship about a year into the affair.

I don’t understand why you wanted me three months ago and don’ wan me now…Of course, you’re quite right. I haven’t anything to give you. You have only a passion for excitement and for comfort. You don’t want any more excitement and I do not give people comfort….

I always knew that you would hurt me to death some day, but I hoped to choose the time and place…I can’t conceive of a person who runs about lighting bonfires and yet nourishes a dislike of flame: that seems silly to me.

… I know you will derive immense satisfaction from thinking of me as an unbalanced young female who flopped about in your drawing room in an unnecessary heart-attack.

…But I hate you when you try to cheapen the things I did honestly and cleanly…You once found my willingness to love you a beautiful and courageous thing. I still think it was. Your spinsterishness makes you feel that a woman desperately and hopelessly in love with a man is an indecent spectacle and a reversal of the natural order of things. But you should have been too fine to feel like that.

I wish you have loved me. I wish you liked me.

Now doesn’t that give a certain insight to this relationship and perhaps to HG Wells, the man? Doesn’t it cause your imagination to take flight?

As an  aside, this book began as a blog (see website above) by Shaun Usher, wanting to share what he considered to be correspondence deserving a wider audience.  The book compilation was published by Unbound, a crowd-sourced publisher, and Canongate.

Recommendation:

If you enjoy or love the written word, then you can’t miss this book. It is a book you can flip open, even if you have only 5 minutes to spare, and find yourself moved by the sentiments. You will be inspired to find within yourself that expression of your soul.

Long live the art of letter-writing.

LWI Rating:

Realistic Characterization: N/A
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Hardback $28.09 USD
  Kindle $9.80 USD
Bookdepository Hardback €28.07 Euro
Booktopia Hardback $41.75 AUD

 

Florence 2

 

 

 

 

@ftthum

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