Monday, July 1, 2013

Meet our Readers - Elizabeth Ruth

Welcome to a new feature on the (Not So) Nice Italian Girls & Friends blog! We will be featuring the new work of our featured writers on a rotating basis. This month's selection is Elizabeth Ruth's Matadora. 

Sunrise in late august, wind sweeps through the valley of the Sierra de Grazalema and the morning air shimmers with red dust. Twelve-year-old Luna balances on the edge of the white stone wall that circles the ranch house. She is captivated by the silhouette of a lone Sangre Caste bull on top of the hill, a valiant statue cut from the dawning light. She can’t look away. Already she knows: love is a dark and dangerous animal. For love, you must be prepared to die.

The wind picks up, flattening the skirt of her work dress against her bare legs. She leans into it and its sad lament. Mama, it whispers, washing over her with the inevitability of loss. She scans the dry, yellow hill where the bull swings his head from side to side. She’s wandered the silent cork forest in her rope-soled sandals looking for some evidence of peace but has yet to find the unmarked grave. She’s searched the property each season, dug with bare hands under a common cypress tree. Recently, she searched her own image in Doña García’s ivory hand mirror, hoping to find consolation there. But death offers no consolation to the living; she wants something more.

Teetering, she spreads her arms out like wings. Today she’ll lift her feet from the stony equator, soar with the birds chained so magically to the sky. Today will be the day she doesn’t return to the house. She closes her eyes, face tilted into the rising sun, and prepares to give herself up to flight. With a silver coin squeezed in her palm, she jumps, and for an instant she’s more than the orphaned bastard she was branded at birth, more than a servant; she is one of God’s creatures. She can fly.
Excerpted from Matadora published by Cormorant Books (2013). 

Elizabeth Ruth's first novel, Ten Good Seconds of Silence was a finalist for the Writers' Trust of Canada Fiction Prize, the Best First Novel Award and the City of Toronto Book Award. Her second novel Smoke, was chosen for the 2007 One Book One Community program. Elizabeth's third novel Matadora, about a female bullfighter in 1930's Spain, was published in Canada in spring 2013. The Globe & Mail said of Matadora: "This searing, sensual novel is an adventure not to be missed." NOW Magazine placed Matadora at #3 on their Must Read Books List. Elizabeth Ruth teaches at the University of Toronto and mentors through the Humber School for Writers.

For more information on Elizabeth's writing and to see a book trailer for Matadora please go to her website
Follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @ElizabethRuth1
You may purchase her book here.