Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be moving to a foreign country to live, let alone a country in the Middle East. Over the 2009 Christmas and New Year’s holidays, my husband Roger and I discussed what we wanted the next part of our life to be like. He thought that before retiring, he would like to do one more airport project but only if he could find something very interesting. I half-jokingly agreed that would be fine but could he try for an exotic location? As usual, Roger came through and soon we were headed to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This blog is a recap of our "leap-of- faith" wanderings around the Middle East and beyond. We joyfully share these expat experiences.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
DUBAI LITERARY FESTIVAL - FINDING PEACE . . . BROTHERLY LOVE . . AND LAUGHTER IN DUBAI – PART 3 - LAUGHTER Marina Lewycka
In this third and final segment of my blog about Anne O’Connell’s and my experiences at The Emirate Airlines Festival of Literature you get to meet one hysterically funny lady.
Our final session is with Marina Lewycka – say that three times with marbles in your mouth! Marina is the author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Two Caravans and We are All Made of Glue. Anne and I prudently share the purchase of these three books with promises to share as soon as we have finished reading.
Marina is conducting a Masters Class entitled, “Narrative Voice, Character & Point of View.” We both eagerly await her words of wisdom that will quickly turn Anne’s book manuscript and my “idea” for a short story into best sellers!
With a whizz-bang burst, Marina enters the room on the run, hair still wet from the shower, laughing and apologizing in a breathless torrent of words. She instantly opens her session with a hysterical lesson on how to pronounce her name.
Today, she instructs this gathering of wanabee authors,” “Once you have an idea for a story and its structure, then, decide who is going to tell it. Choose a voice that you easily maintain for 100,000 words or more. . . . Being consistent in voice will build trust with your readers and get them to buy into the story . . . Be convincing in choosing language and details you observe. Think about the language they would use based on the time the story is in. Be consistent with details and always generously describe all senses.”
Here is the opening of “Tractors in Ukrainian” . . .
“Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.
It all started with a phone call.”
OK, wouldn’t you be interested in reading more??? I am on Chapter Four and still laughing on every page!”
Postscripts . . .
Would have loved to see but missed . . .
. . . Jane Bristol, Rhys, Emirati Women: Generations of Change in Conversation, that “weaves together eight years of conversation and interviews with three generations of Emirati women.” How incredibly fortunate is Jane to been able to really talk with three generations of these remarkable women. Can you just image the stories they must have? The UAE culture has undergone formidable changes in the last 40 years. I think the most dramatic changes must have been on the lives of the women. I want to learn more!
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2012 . . . I hope to see included in the 2010 Festival Pulani, A memoir of a young woman in apartheid South Africa written by my good friend Ruchel Louis Coetzee. Published in 2011, it is a beautiful love story of Ruchel’s life growing up in South Africa, finding the love of her life and their daring escape. An absolute must read! I am knocking on the festival organizers doors as we speak hoping I can get them to include this exciting work. Wish me luck!
If you have a chance to read any of the books I have recommended please let me know what you think in the comments below.