When my friends saw me reading Francisco Goldman’s Say Her Name, they were surprised and asked: Are you really reading this? They asked because the title and cover of the book feel like it is a sad romance novel. However, the phrase “Do not judge a book by its cover” has never been more meaningful.
This book is a little more than loss and love; it is a warning, a goodbye, a distraction, and a call for help. I’m sure everyone will find something valuable in this book. Whatever you find will be different from everyone else’s. And I’m sure what you get from the book will change over time. Enjoy!
Say Her Name
Celebrated novelist Francisco Goldman married a beautiful young writer named Aura Estrada in a romantic Mexican hacienda in the summer of 2005. The month before their second anniversary, during a long-awaited holiday, Aura broke her neck while body surfing. Francisco, blamed for Aura’s death by her family and blaming himself, wanted to die too. But instead he wrote Say Her Name, a novel chronicling his great love and unspeakable loss, tracking the stages of grief when pure love gives way to bottomless pain.
Suddenly a widower, Goldman collects everything he can about his wife, hungry to keep Aura alive with every memory. From her childhood and so university days in Mexico City with her fiercely devoted mother to her studies at Columbia University. Through their newlywed years in New York City and so travels to Mexico and Europe. And always through the prism of her gifted writings – Goldman seeks her essence and grieves her loss. Humour leavens the pain as he lives through the madness of so utter grief. And creates a living portrait of a love as joyous and so playful as it is deep and profound.
Say Her Name is a love story, a bold inquiry into so destiny and accountability. And a tribute to Aura – who so she was and who she would have been.
Francisco Goldman is an American novelist, journalist, and so Allen K. Smith Professor of Literature and Creative Writing, Trinity College.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: