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Jennifer Clement was born in 1960 and has lived in Mexico since 1961. She is a graduate of New York University. She is the author of the memoir Widow Basquiat and two novels: A True Story Based on Lies, longlisted for the Orange Prize and The Poison That Fascinates. She is also the author of several books of poetry, and is co-founder and director of the San Miguel Poetry Week. Jennifer Clement was awarded the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Fellowship for Literature 2012. She was also President of PEN Mexico from 2009 to 2012 and is a member of Mexico's prestigious Sistema Nacional de Creadores. She lives in Mexico City.
Ladydi Garcia Martinez is fierce, funny and smart. She was born into a world where being a girl is a dangerous thing. In the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, women must fend for themselves, as their men have left to seek opportunities elsewhere. Here in the shadow of the drug war, bodies turn up on the outskirts of the village to be taken back to the earth by scorpions and snakes. School is held sporadically, when a volunteer can be coerced away from the big city for a semester. In Guerrero the drug lords are kings, and mothers disguise their daughters as sons, or when that fails they "e;make them ugly"e; - cropping their hair, blackening their teeth- anything to protect them from the rapacious grasp of the cartels. And when the black SUVs roll through town, Ladydi and her friends burrow into holes in their backyards like animals, tucked safely out of sight. While her mother waits in vain for her husband's return, Ladydi and her friends dream of a future that holds more promise than mere survival, finding humor, solidarity and fun in the face of so much tragedy. When Ladydi is offered work as a nanny for a wealthy family in Acapulco, she seizes the chance, and finds her first taste of love with a young caretaker there. But when a local murder tied to the cartel implicates a friend, Ladydi's future takes a dark turn. Despite the odds against her, this spirited heroine's resilience and resolve bring hope to otherwise heartbreaking conditions. An illuminating and affecting portrait of women in rural Mexico, and a stunning exploration of the hidden consequences of an unjust war, PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and determination.
`My mother called anyone or anything that seemed alone, or ended up in the wrong place, a stray. There were stray people, stray dogs, stray bullets, and stray butterflies.' Fourteen-year-old Pearl France lives in the front seat of a broken down car and her mother Margot lives in the back. Together they survive on a diet of powdered milk and bug spray, love songs and stolen cigarettes. Life on the edge of a Florida trailer park is strange enough, but when Pastor Rex's `Guns for God' programme brings Eli Redmond to town Pearl's world is upended. Eli pays regular visits to Margot in the back seat, forcing Pearl to find a world beyond the car. Margot is given a gift by Eli, a gun of her own, just like he's given her flowers. It sits under the driver's seat, a dark presence... Gun Love is a hypnotic story of family, community and violence. Told from the perspective of a sharp-eyed teenager, it exposes America's love affair with firearms and its painful consequences.
A New York Times Editor's ChoiceThe searing, unforgettable story of a young girl's resilience, by the award-winning author of Prayers for the Stolen Pearl's mother took her away from her family just weeks after she was born, and drove off to central Florida determined to begin a new life for herself and her daughter--in the parking lot next to a trailer park. Pearl grew up in the front seat of their '94 Mercury, while her mother lived in the back. Despite their hardships, mother and daughter both adjusted to life, making friends with the residents of the trailers and creating a deep connection to each other. All around them, Florida is populated with gun owners--those hunting alligators for sport, those who want to protect their families, and those who create a sense of danger. Written in a gorgeous lyric all its own, Gun Love is the story of a tough but optimistic young woman growing up in contemporary America, in the midst of its harrowing love affair with firearms.
Jean-Michel Basquiat's transition from the subways to the chic gallery spaces of Manhattan brought the artist into the company of many of New York's established and aspiring stars. Unable to deal with the demands that his new fame brought, in 1987, at the age of twenty-seven Basquiat, the most successful black visual artist in history, died from a heroin overdose. This is his mesmerising story, told from the perspective of his muse.
While humility is not especially valued in modern Western culture, Jennifer Clement argues here, it is central to sixteenth- and seventeenth-century understandings of Christian faith and behavior, and is vital to early modern concepts of the self. As this study shows, early modern literary engagements with humility link it to self-knowledge through the practice of right reading, and make humility foundational to any proper understanding of human agency. Yet humility has received little critical interest, and has often been misunderstood as a false virtue that engenders only self-abjection. This study offers an overview of various ways in which humility is discussed, deployed, or resisted in early modern texts ranging from the explicitly religious and autobiographical prose of Katherine Parr and John Donne, to the more politically motivated prose of Queen Elizabeth I and the seventeenth-century reformer and radical Thomas Tryon. As part of the wider 'turn to religion' in early modern studies, this study seeks to complicate our understanding of a mainstream early modern virtue, and to problematize a mode of critical analysis that assumes agency is always defined by resistance.
`Now we make you ugly,' my mother said. `The best thing you can be in Mexico is an ugly girl.' On the mountainside in rural Mexico where Ladydi lives, being a girl is dangerous. Especially a pretty one. If the Narcos hear there is a pretty girl on the mountain, they steal her. So when the black SUVs roll into town, Ladydi and her friends hide in the warren of holes scattered across the mountain, safely out of sight. Because the stolen girls don't come back. Ladydi is determined to get out, to find a life that offers more than just the struggle to survive. But she soon finds that the drug cartels have eyes everywhere, and the cities are no safer than the mountains.
MADONNA. ANDY WARHOL. KEITH HARING. FAB 5 FREDDIE. DEBBIE HARRY. JULIAN SCHNABEL. Jean-Michel Basquiat's transition from the subways to the chic gallery spaces of Manhattan brought the artist into the company of many of New York's established and aspiring stars. Unable to deal with the demands that his new fame brought, in 1988, at the age of twenty-seven Basquiat, the most successful black visual artist in history, died from a heroin overdose. Widow Basquiat is an exploration of the artist as seen through the eyes of his muse, Suzanne. It is a love story like no other.
Abandoned by her mother as a baby, Emily now lives with her father in Mexico City. She works in the local Catholic orphanage. Life is simple. But when an enigmatic cousin, Santi, appears on the doorstep he brings family secrets, and soon Emily finds desire and temptation have overturned her straightforward life forever.
Jennifer Clement studied English Literature and Anthropology at New York University and French Literature in Paris. Clement is the author of the memoir 'Widow Basquiat', which made the UK Booksellers' Choice list, and a novel 'A True Story Based on Lies', which was a finalist in the Orange Prize for Fiction. She was awarded the Canongate Prize for New Writing in 2001, and is also the author of several books of poetry: 'The Next Stranger', 'Newton's Sailor', and 'Lady of the Broom', each published in bilingual editions in Mexico. Clement's work has been translated into eight languages. Canongate Books is publishing her next novel 'The Poison That Fascinates' in 2008. Jennifer Clement lives in Mexico City and, with her sister Barbara Sibley, is co-director and -founder of the annual San Miguel Poetry Week. The present volume offers several new poems, the complete 'Lady of the Broom' sequence, plus selections from her two earlier books.
A True Story Based on Lies is a remarkable and original novel that addresses the universal issues of class discrimination, male oppression and female servitude through dual narratives ofspellbinding power. Set in contemporary Mexico, the book charts the consequences of a sexual relationship between Leonora, a servant in the wealthy O'Connor home, and her master. When a child, Aura Olivia, is born from this union she is brought up as the daughter of the house. As the novel unfolds, the 'true' story gradually emerges.