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10 thoughts on “Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories

  1. says:

    This is a truly stunning collection of short stories I m often disappointed by current American fiction, but this was like nothing I ve read Katherine Vaz has her own unique voice and it s definitely not the dreaded homogeneous voice of the MFA workshop that is at once lyrical, quirky, humorous and at the same time deeply moving, and yet without a trace of mawkishness or sentimentality I know Portugal very well, having lived there for ten years indeed I consider it almost as much my home as the country I m from, England and I found Vaz s evocations of the country some of the stories are set there and her knowledge of the Portuguese people and the language impeccable Which is by no means usual, I ve found, with writers who write about the country However, this is not some merely colorful collection It s a book that gives the reader a view into the human heart that she might never have had before The stories whose theme is father daughter love are particularly moving Not many books this serious are simultaneously so pleasurable to read Highly recommended I suppose I should mention that I have met the author at a conference, and we are friends on Facebook I shall certainly be reading of her books.


  2. says:

    I thought this was a wonderfully written story collection Drawn by the book title, and then the book cover, I added it to my stack of library books the other day I d never read anything by Katherine Vaz before I am so pleased to have discovered her writing From the book jacket The stories in this prize winning collection evoke a complete world, one so richly imagined and finely realized that the stories themselves are not so much read as experienced The world of these stories is Portuguese American, redolent of incense and spices, resonant with ritual and prayer, immersed in the California culture of freeway and commerce.


  3. says:

    Writing felt a bit disjointed, hard to follow, but I suspect it s a stylistic choice.


  4. says:

    How do I describe these stories Although Vaz is a California native, these tales are very Portuguese.They are filled with Portuguese language and traditions, superstitions and mysticism They re fascinating, and some of them are downright weird But they are so rich, the settings in California and Portugal so vivid, the people so real The title story, Our Lady of the Artichokes, parodies the craziness that rises around any possible sighting of the Virgin Mary The Man Who was Made of Netting takes us backstage at one of the annual Holy Ghost festas that happen wherever Portuguese Americans congregate The Lisbon Story, the longest in the book, still resonates in my heart as I think about the two dying men at the center of this tale Katherine Vaz is one of the women I interviewed for my book, Stories Grandma Never Told When we talked so long ago, she had just published Saudade, her first award winning novel She moved east to teach at Harvard and has followed that first book with Fado and Other Stories, Mariana and now this collection, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in fiction She told me back then that she found her voice when she started writing her Portuguese stories It s a voice worth hearing.


  5. says:

    A collection of short stories I was drawn to this title because of my Portuguese heritage The references to California s bay area, the Azores, and other traditions brought back many stories my mom told me while growing up The language is fluid and haunting at times, though the meaning in these phrases often got lost in a fog of words and unidentifiable sentiment Many metaphors similes sounded nice but didn t quite ring true For example His eyes have the wetness of clean diamonds Clean diamonds I don t usually think of them as dirty, and I almost never think of diamonds as being wet If you can get past the vague and sometimes flowery language, are interested in the experiences of women in American Portuguese culture, than this may be a good book for you.


  6. says:

    This book deserves 3.5 stars I really enjoyed this collection of deeply poignant stories, all with a distinct Portuguese touch The stories were written in a simple manner, filled with deep imagery Vaz managed to create a good connection to the characters even within the brief stories Somehow this book made me very nostalgic even though the stories background do not reflect the culture that I grew up with Despite my inclination towards rationality or maybe because of it, the sense of the divine interspersed with the somehow dramatically mundane you ll know what I mean when you read the book lives of the protagonists of these stories really touched a chord with me.


  7. says:

    No words can encompass the inherent truth found between the pages of this collection truth that resonates regardless of background But, for fellow Portuguese Americansthe ultimate saudade fills these stories.


  8. says:

    I was drawn to this book because of my Portuguese heritage, but I should have known better because I have never been a fan of short stories I really wanted to enjoy it, but I found it to be just OK There were a couple of stories I really enjoyed, but most I could have done without.


  9. says:

    I enjoyed this little book of stories I had read a review in the San Francisco paper when I was out there in Oct Finally picked it up A little melancholy Only fueled my desire to go to Portugal Now if I could only find a little book of Lithuanian stories to round out the old heritage


  10. says:

    Beautiful imagery in these stories I love the way Katherine Vaz writes.


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Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories download Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories, read online Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories, kindle ebook Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories, Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories 8ca7d916874a The Stories In This Prize Winning Collection Evoke A Complete World, One So Richly Imagined And Finely Realized That The Stories Themselves Are Not So Much Read As Experienced The World Of These Stories Is Portuguese American, Redolent Of Incense And Spices, Resonant With Ritual And Prayer, Immersed In The California Culture Of Freeway And Commerce Packed With Lyrical Prose And Vivid Detail, Acclaimed Writer Katherine Vaz Conjures A Captivating Blend Of Old World Heritage And New World Culture To Explore The Links Between Families, Friends, Strangers, And Their WorldFrom The Threat Of A Serial Killer As The Background For A Young Girl S First Brush With Death To The Fallout Of A Modern Day Visitation From The Virgin Mary From An AIDS Stricken Squatter Refusing To Vacate An Empty Lisbon Home To A Mother S Yearlong Struggle With The Death Of Her Synesthetic Daughter, These Deft Stories Make Their World Ours