To that I say, don’t wait!
When I picked it up last week, I knew it would be a depressing story. Francisco Goldman centers this autobiographical novel around his late-wife Aura’s body surfing accident that took her life at age 30.
For the three days it took me to read the book, I felt like I was walking around half zombie-like. But I also felt human, alive, mortal, and intellectually stimulated.
Goldman brings the reader into Aura’s childhood, mostly in Mexico City, and her quick rise in the world of academia. But Aura realized once at Columbia that she didn’t want to be an academic. She wanted to write.
And Goldman, an acclaimed writer, gave Aura as much support and love as only a devoted husband could provide. They lived in both Brooklyn and Mexico City and while they weren’t wealthy, their lives were rich in every other way.
Two years after their wedding, they embarked on a two-week vacation on a Mexican beach resting on the Pacific Ocean. It was a safe beach and one covered with young children the day Aura broke her neck on a deadly wave.
She would pass away 24 hours later in a Mexico City hospital.
Books meant the world to Aura. So in telling her story, Goldman pays the ultimate tribute to Aura.
Francisco Goldman will be reading in Chicago next month and I hope to hear him speak about this book. In the meantime, he’s on tour in the Bay Area this week and (as I learned on Twitter) today is his birthday.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Señor Goldman!