The essays, written and read in English, explore what life is like as a U.S. Hispanic, a person who balances two cultures. The 56-minute CD provides entertainment that Veiga hopes increases understanding and tolerance about how immigrants adapt to a different way of life in the United States.
The CD highlights the meshing and clashing natural to the assimilation process. English-only listeners have embraced it, as have bilingual listeners. Veiga plans a version in her native Spanish as well.“Square Watermelons is ‘un encanto,’ (an enchantment) from start to finish, a perfect blend of heart and mind, insider and outsider, English and Spanish, written and spoken, heartache and comedy, music and text. This rich mixture creates a fresh perspective on the value of living in several worlds simultaneously,” writes Holly Iglesias, author of “Souvenirs of a Shrunken World” and University of North Carolina—Asheville professor.
“She wrote with an eloquence that I felt should be put to music, and now she’s done that,” says Charlie Ericksen, who syndicated most of the essays as editor and founder of Hispanic Link News Service in Washington, D.C.
A classical guitarist accompanies Veiga’s reading. Mario Escandel, a graduate of the Havana Municipal Conservatory, has taken Cuban popular musical selections by Cuban composers and arranged them for the classical guitar.“It’s the music of my home—both of Cuba and Miami; my father plays,” Veiga says. She hopes to increase appreciation of her native culture by sharing its musical talent as well.
The CD is available online at www.eclipserecording.com or by calling Eclipse Recording Studios at 904-794-1872.For more information, contact Marisella Veiga at 904-501-4647 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Charlie Ericksen at 202-234-0280 or Charlie@hispaniclink.org
Marisella Veiga was born in Havana, Cuba, and went into exile with her family in 1960. She was raised both in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Miami, Florida. She received a B.A. in English from Macalester College and a Master’s in Fine Arts in Poetry from Bowling Green State University. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and literary anthologies. Veiga has won The Pushcart Prize XX, Best of the Small Presses, Special Mention in Fiction, the Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for Best Short Story in The Caribbean Writer. She was also given the Evelyn LaPierre Award for Journalism in Alexandria, Virginia. Recently, Veiga released a spoken word recording that collects 10 of her nationally syndicated columns. Square Watermelons: Ten Essays on Living with Two Cultures. She lives with her husband in St. Augustine, Florida.