I attended a Spanish-English reading last week at the McNally Jackson Bookstore for the book launch of Mercedes Salvador’s debut novel, La Copia de Van Gogh, which was published in Spain over the summer. Mercedes and I studied creative writing together in the MFA program at Goddard College, so it was a real thrill to hear her read from her book, and talk about her 10 year journey to write and publish her first novel.
Inspired by her life growing up in Spain, La Copia de Van Gogh tells the story of two young women, Miriam (Spanish) and Helena (American) who spent summers together in Mallorca in the post-Franco years. After Helena goes missing, Miriam sets off on a journey to find her friend. The book is a story of friendship, family and personal transformation set in the U.S., Spain and India.
I look forward to reading this book, and Mercedes, who lives in New York, has plans to translate her story, and publish it, in English.
McNally Jackson, an independent bookstore in SoHo, is such an inspiring shop to visit. It’s a two-story bookstore located in a part of New York better known for eating out and buying designer shoes and clothes than a place to buy books. It is wonderful to see this store thriving and hosting unique events, like this bilingual book reading.