One For the Road (04/16/07)

In the early 1990’s, English professor Michele Morano spent a year working as a university English teacher in Oviedo, Spain. She then returned to the country on several occasions as a traveler, continuing to unfold links between her love of the Spanish language and the role grammar played in shaping her life. In her new book, Grammar Lessons, Translating a Life in Spain, Morano has gathered thirteen personal essays that draw from both these experiences of living and traveling in Spain.

Throughout her collection of stories, Morano connects universal truths about vocabulary and verb tense that have impacted her sense of place in the world. With humor and humility, she explores the ways in which travel, translation and cultural interactions have led to the discovery of her own voice as well as a deeper understanding of the power of language.

After only a month traveling through Spain last year, I fell madly in love with all things Spanish, including the melodic language that I had disregarded so easily in high school classes. So I can understand how Morano (and others) have developed long-term love affairs with such a beautiful language. This is a book I’ll be sure to read. (I wonder if there’s a Spanish translation version as well?)

Named by Time Out Chicago as one of their “People to Watch” in 2007, Michele Morano is an award winning writer who currently teaches English at DePaul University. She has a few author appearances scheduled in the New York area this week, including stops in Brooklyn, Rhinebeck and New Paltz.