Gil chosen as January 2015’s “Author of the Month” on Houston Public Media
Houston Public Media radio host Eric Ladau interviewed Gil for its website’s “Arte Público Press Author of the Month” feature, and along with the transcript, their conversation is available to listeners on the station’s interactive site through on-demand audio streaming here.
Click here to see all Arte Público authors featured on Houston Public Media.
About the Author:
LYDIA GIL was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, of Cuban parents. She is the author of a bilingual “flip” book for intermediate readers, Letters from Heaven / Cartas del cielo (Piñata Books, 2014), and a bilingual children’s picture book, Mimí’s Parranda / La parranda de Mimí (Piñata Books, 2007). She teaches at the University of Denver and writes for EFE, the leading Spanish-language news agency. She holds a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Comparative Literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
About her latest book, Letters from Heaven / Cartas del cielo
Celeste is heartbroken when her grandmother dies. But everything changes when a letter mysteriously comes in the mail—from Grandma! “I know you miss me as much as I miss you. Don’t be sad. Where there is love, there is no sadness.” As letters continue to arrive from the beyond, each with a recipe of a favorite food her grandmother used to prepare, Celeste consoles herself by learning how to cook the dishes.
Meanwhile, without Grandma’s social security check, Mami needs to get a second job to make ends meet. Celeste has to quit dance lessons, and a bully at school gloats that she will replace Celeste as the star in the upcoming recital. To top things off, her friends think that she’s gone crazy; dead people can’t send letters! When a final letter arrives, Celeste realizes that all the recipes combined make an entire meal: café con leche, guava and cheese croissants, congrí, plantain chips, ropa vieja, and flan. Can she really make a Cuban feast to celebrate her cherished grandmother’s life?
A tender story of family and friendship, Letters from Heaven / Cartas del cielo celebrates Latino traditions, especially those of the Spanish Caribbean. This entertaining novel is written in ten brief chapters for children ages 8-12 and includes six traditional Cuban recipes with easy-to-follow instructions.