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Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spainby Lori Tharps
Synopses & Reviews
Magazine writer and editor Lori Tharps was born and raised in the comfortable but mostly white suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she was often the only person of color in her school and neighborhood. At an early age, Lori decided that her destiny would be discovered in Spain. She didn't know anyone from Spain, had never visited the country, and hardly spoke the language. Still, she never faltered in her plans to escape to the Iberian Peninsula.
Arriving in the country as an optimistic college student, however, Lori soon discovers Spain's particular attitude toward blackness. She is chased down the street by the local schoolchildren and pointed at incessantly in public, and her innocent dreams of a place where race doesn't matter are shattered. The story would end there, except Lori meets and marries a Spaniard, and that's when her true Spanish adventure really begins.
Against the ancient backdrops of Cadiz and Andalucia, Lori starts the intricate yet amusing journey of rekindling her love affair with Spain and becoming a part of her new Spanish family. From a grandmother who spies on her to a grandfather who warmly welcomes her to town with a slew of racist jokes, the close-knit clan isn't exactly waiting with open arms. Kinky Gazpacho tells the story of the redeeming power of love and finding self in the most unexpected places.
At its heart, this is a love story. It is a memoir, a travel essay, and a glimpse into the past and present of Spain. As humorous and entertaining as such favorite travel stories as Under the Tuscan Sun, this book also unveils a unique and untold history of Spain's enduring connection to West Africa. Kinky Gazpacho celebrates the mysticism of travel and the joys of watching two distinct cultures connect and come together.
"Joining the ranks of such fine books as Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun and Sarah Turnbull's Almost French, Lori Tharps takes us on an adventure of love, language, and travel. In her capable hands, it's not a small world after all — but rather a big one, with much to discover and a great deal of fun to be had." Veronica Chambers, author of The Joy of Doing Things Badly and Kickboxing Geishas
"With flawless agility, Tharps...juggles a coming-of-age story, a portrait of the writer as a young woman, a travel book and a detective story along with a memoir about learning to love oneself and one's world." Publishers Weekly
Growing up and outsider in a white suburb, Lori Tharps dreamed of finding a place where race didn't matter. As an optimistic college student, she looked for that place in Spain. But her innocent dream was shattered when she discovered that racism is everywhere. Except, perhaps, in the heart of the Spaniard she unexpectedly falls for and marries — and that's where the adventure really begins.
About the Author
Lori L. Tharps is the author of Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain, named by Salon.com as one of their top ten books for 2008, and the co-author of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. She is an assistant professor of journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, where she makes her home with her husband and family. She doesn’t have a nanny.
Table of Contents
1: International Day
2: Josephine Baker Was My Hero
3: Almost Africa
5: Black Like Me
6: Dreaming en Español
8: La Morena
9: If You Want My Body, and You Think I'm SexyÂ€¯...
11: La Reconquista
12: Guess Who's Coming to la Cena?
13: Love. Life.
14: How Do You Say "Aunt Jemima" in Spanish?
15: Black to the Beginning
16: Kinky Gazpacho
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