Meet author: Cambria Gordon

Meet author: Cambria Gordon in Newburgh on Sunday, January 9, 2022
Meet author: Cambria Gordon in Newburgh on Sunday, January 9, 2022
Sunday, January 9, 2022, 1600 - 1730
The Poet­ry of Secrets
The set­ting for Cam­bria Gordon's new young adult nov­el is the world of fif­teenth-cen­tu­ry Spain pri­or to the expul­sion of the kingdom's Jews. Six­teen-year-old Isabel Perez is caught in a dai­ly strug­gle as a cryp­to-Jew. Her fam­i­ly seeks an impos­si­ble bal­ance, out­ward­ly con­form­ing to the church as con­ver­sos while hop­ing to secret­ly pre­serve their Jew­ish prac­tice. The out­side envi­ron­ment threat­ens Isabel, and ten­sions at home - which mir­ror the mul­ti­ple respons­es of the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty - also impose their own painful real­i­ty. Gordon's nar­ra­tive empha­sizes the inter­play between exter­nal and inter­nal pres­sures on a strong and gift­ed young woman as she tries to nav­i­gate the ter­rors of her time.

The dra­mat­ic ten­sion grows as Isabel, with the sup­port of her abuela, becomes inter­est­ed in explor­ing Jew­ish texts. Gor­don includes Isabel's poems, writ­ten in the tra­di­tion of Span­ish Jew­ish and Ara­bic verse, along­side selec­tions of work by his­tor­i­cal poets. The young woman's attrac­tion to lan­guage as a means to exam­ine, cod­i­fy, and express her own expe­ri­ence and that of her peo­ple is a cen­tral theme of the nov­el - as impor­tant as fam­i­ly bonds and roman­tic love. The com­plex­i­ties of the author's goal make her nov­el as vibrant as a street in medieval Spain; read­ers will want to fol­low Isabel on her wind­ing path towards freedom.

The Poet­ry of Secrets includes an author's note with both per­son­al insights and his­tor­i­cal back­ground material.


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Newburgh New York 12550
United States
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