Day 15 – Novel Set Abroad:
Easy choice for me today novel set abroad, I immediately thought of Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain by Lori L. Tharps. It’s an autobiography/memoir of Tharps discovery of Spain when she goes to live and study in Salamanca. Eye-opener. Funny. Frustrating. Confusing. Those are a few of the emotions Tharps goes through. It’s written light-heartedly while at the same time being pertinent on issues of race, relationships, culture differences among others. Learning about Spanish culture was very interesting through the eyes of a young African-American girl, who can’t wait to get to a European country where race doesn’t matter. So, she thinks.
“It had been a month and I still felt like I had those first two weeks in Casablanca. Alone, isolated, and uninspired to do anything about it. I hadn’t anticipated feeling culture shock in a Western European country, so it hit me much harder. Most of the other Americans in my program didn’t seem to share my problem….I wanted to change immediately. I wanted to be Spanish for the entire year but didn’t know where to begin. The Spaniards in my classes, who I thought would become my tour guides into la vida española, didn’t even seem to notice me, much less attempt to be my friend.” (Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love, & Spain, p. 80)