{E-PUB} × Umami Ë eBook or E-pub free

This novel lands exactly in the middle of the NOT FOR ME bulls eye, so while I can imagine many readers loving it, I wasn t one of them It s well written, it s vividly imagined, it s character focused, and it s charged through with sweet melancholy, all things I usually adore What I can t get past, though, is the use of a consistent first person, present tense narrative voice for several different characters, chapter by chapter Although these characters are all very different from one anoth This novel lands exactly in the middle of the NOT FOR ME bulls eye, so while I can imagine many readers loving it, I wasn t one of them It s well written, it s vividly imagined, it s character focused, and it s charged through with sweet melancholy, all things I usually adore What I can t get past, though, is the use of a consistent first person, present tense narrative voice for several different characters, chapter by chapter Although these characters are all very different from one another, the voice sounds very much the same The prose style, while lovely, intrudes very noisily into my fictional experience because of the first person requiring, for me, to express a unique persona Each of these characters though writes speaks in a voice full of canny asides a voice that delves into the most intimate emotional truths of each characters without hesitation, to the point where my literal mind keeps thinking, Why is this character being so candid with me, a total stranger Many readers I m friends with never have these technical, visceral reactions to the artistic choices writers make with voice I can honestly imagine so many readers will enjoy the artistry here As for me I would have enjoyed this novel in a third person past tense voice, where the self awareness and artfulness of the prose would not have intruded on my understanding of character the way it does for me in first person laia jufresa s debut novel, umami umami , is the bittersweet, grief filled story of inhabitants residing within a small apartment complex belldrop mews each contending with their own sorrow and loss jufresa deftly weaves together the disparate lives of these individuals framing the story in a unique style spanning five years from 2000 2004 umami s characters are vibrantly drawn, each with a distinct, colorful personality and lifelike authenticity belldrop mews s denizens struggle with laia jufresa s debut novel, umami umami , is the bittersweet, grief filled story of inhabitants residing within a small apartment complex belldrop mews each contending with their own sorrow and loss jufresa deftly weaves together the disparate lives of these individuals framing the story in a unique style spanning five years from 2000 2004 umami s characters are vibrantly drawn, each with a distinct, colorful personality and lifelike authenticity belldrop mews s denizens struggle with their lot a widower grieving his lost wife, a daughter moving beyond the death of her sister, an artist contending with an estranged mother, etc , yet often manage to find joy and contentment for themselves.jufresa s novel, with flashes of beautiful writing, is well conceived and sturdily constructed it does, however, at times veer dangerously close to the mawkish or maudlin nonetheless, jufresa is clearly a gifted writer and umami hopefully marks the arrival of yet another young, talented writer from south of the rio grande as a boy, if anyone asked me which magic power i d choose, i always went for time travel i wanted to see without being seen and really i think that this is what defines all anthropologists a natural tendency to observe and a healthy dose of curiosity for all things human, but without ever reaching the levels of sensibility of the artist, the solemnity of the philosopher, or the opportunism of the lawyer our healthy curiosity isn t quite the systematic, slightly obsessive rigor of the spy or the scientist, and we re far from boasting the deductive inventiveness of the sociologist, or the novelist s discipline but i guess you could say we have a little of all these things, if you re a glass half full kind of guy translated from the spanish by sophie hughes hasb n, repila, bilbao This seals it contemporary Mexican writers seem to be the ones telling stories in the most exciting and innovative of ways I m looking at you Enrigue, Herrera and Luiselli Umami is a multi voice narrative of grief, loss and missed chances But it has a lightness and sense of humour all its own Jufresa s writing contains an electric current that forces you to pay attention The non linear alternative voices perspective shifts tense changes keep a reader on her toes but that s exactly where I This seals it contemporary Mexican writers seem to be the ones telling stories in the most exciting and innovative of ways I m looking at you Enrigue, Herrera and Luiselli Umami is a multi voice narrative of grief, loss and missed chances But it has a lightness and sense of humour all its own Jufresa s writing contains an electric current that forces you to pay attention The non linear alternative voices perspective shifts tense changes keep a reader on her toes but that s exactly where I want fiction to put me and hold me Umami electrifies your senses and is a delicious literary treat Laia Jufresa s Umami is a must read for anyone interested in translated fiction by women from independent publishers Translated from Spanish by Sophie Hughes, Umami is a short novel about the middle class inhabitants of Belldrop Mews, an inner city mews in Mexico City What makes Umami memorable is its distinctive use of a non linear structure to tell an evocative story steeped in emotional tension.There are four parts to Umami and each part has a chapter told by a character in a different year Laia Jufresa s Umami is a must read for anyone interested in translated fiction by women from independent publishers Translated from Spanish by Sophie Hughes, Umami is a short novel about the middle class inhabitants of Belldrop Mews, an inner city mews in Mexico City What makes Umami memorable is its distinctive use of a non linear structure to tell an evocative story steeped in emotional tension.There are four parts to Umami and each part has a chapter told by a character in a different year, so the reader goes back in time to different moments from 2004 to 2000 Ana is a precocious pre teen that decides to plant crops based on milpa, an agriculture system practiced in Mesoamerica, in her family s backyard This is in exchange for staying home for the summer instead of going to her grandmother Emma s lake house in America This is in 2004, present time, or at least the most current time period of Umami Ana is hilarious, often making deadpan asides, such as how she describes Alf, the landlord, whoalways insists on giving you an alegria which are kind of like cereal bars, only made of amaranth, So, not a cereal bar, Agatha Christie, but a seed bar Later in the same passage, when she goes over to Alf s place, she shares her dad s medical diagnosis that Alf is depressed for installing a jacuzzi in his backyard Ana s family still grapples with the grief of unexpected death in the family, Luz, almost six years old, that occurred a few summers ago at the lake near Emma s house.Jufresa s intention was to write about grief in its various stages and many of Umami s characters are grieving In contrast to Ana s attempts to raise her family up, Alf is having a hard time to move on from his wife, Noelia s passing He keeps her memory alive and even converses with her voice in his head Pina, Ana s friend who lives in the mews, is dealing with her mom leaving the family, while Marina, the newest and youngest addition to Belldrop, is coming to terms with the impact her physically abusive father had on her upbringing and on herself, or lack of self She is an artist recovering from an eating disorder Some chapters, such as Ana and Alf s, are narrated in first person, while other chapters are in third person, Marina and Pina s Luz also narrates her own chapters and not only is she adorable, but her chapters are a powder keg Let me say, there is so much depth behind the sentence I am not a fish I did not expect, and it will hit you like a ton of bricks And it s how Jufresa juggles the emotional weights between different voices that pushes Umami over the edge to brilliance Some chapters are witty and playful while others are incredibly morose in its candidness, in that way that makes your chest ache with all the feels Alf, the pretentious archaeologist and owner of the mews, is a great example of encapsulating both, in his love of Noelia, and his lifelong crusade to educate the masses about amaranth He writes in an untitled Word Document filled with his observations about his life before, during and after NoeliaUmami is the perfect title Trying to explain who my wife was is just as necessary and impossible as explaining umami that flavour that floods your taste buds without you being able to quite put your finger on it Umami is the perfect title because nobody would understand it, just as I never fully understood Noelia Vargas Vargas Simultaneously, Alf s portrayal academic elite of Mexico City is so comically scathing, ripping apart the humanitees department that Noelia so dubbed becausethe humanitees thought like almost all the humanities graduates, including me that they were better than everyone else that little bithumane than the rest of humanity And let s not forget Alf s gloomy prediction about his life s work on amaranth and how it will become popular thanks tosome overeducated little gringo who hasn t eaten a single crumb of amaranth in his life is going to write a book called Amaranthus, and in that book he ll include all the stuff I ve been saying for yearsThis prediction goes on much longer in the book, and it is one of the best rants I ve read in a while If you lined up the stories chronologically, there may be not too much there in terms of plot, and it is interesting to read interviews with the author where she discusses how her first idea was to tell one story of 2004 then 2003 She then experimented by chopping up the whole 2004 story etc and foundit became very rich There was the possibility of crossing bridges, the possibility of having someone say something that has repercussions three years later Absolutely loved Umami for its moving depiction of grief in how light and heavy it can be This was just not for me. No chance In my mind, you always died yesterday I want to reread this beautiful book in its original Spanish Right now Although the translation was excellent I don t know how Jufresa seamlessly wove this story together, told in first person from five different people and jumping back and forth in time but she does it elegantly Somehow she immerses us in each of these interrelated character s minds so we have no trouble flipping between minds without external clues I ve got a new, co No chance In my mind, you always died yesterday I want to reread this beautiful book in its original Spanish Right now Although the translation was excellent I don t know how Jufresa seamlessly wove this story together, told in first person from five different people and jumping back and forth in time but she does it elegantly Somehow she immerses us in each of these interrelated character s minds so we have no trouble flipping between minds without external clues I ve got a new, corrosive obsession regret distilled to its purest form How can a book centered on death, longing, and regret be so uplifting and joyful It is painfully sad Nobody warns you about this, but the dead, or at least some of them, take customs, decades, whole neighborhoods with them Yet the book overall does not feel heavy The narrators are delightful people, dealing with death in classic Mexican fashion living with it every day, not ignoring it, keeping the dead with them The language of the book is fabulous I really want to reread it in its original So much of the book deals with language, whether creating color words, contrasting to English and French, bringing out history According to him, on principal you should distrust any language that uses the same word for libre and gratis Love it Because language is an integral part of this book the translation must have been very tricky Sophie Hughes does a beautiful job translating and maintaining the feel And then there is the umami The fifth taste If we delve back to the beginning, perhaps umami doesn t start in the mouth at all, but rather as a craving, at first sight The correlation of the narrators to a different taste the importance of the milpa, the visual and musical art, the curer becoming often a curator the anthropology, there is so much here to enjoy, it s so chompable Chompable seemsad box to me,of a treat,sinful My rating 3.5 I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.Written by the English Pen Award winner Laia Jufresa and excellently translated by Sophie Hughes Umami is a story of the troubled lives of a small community in Mexico as they go through various stages of grief What this story reveals is that everyone deals with heartache in his or her own personal way, however the things they do can affect everyone around them.Set in Belldrop Mews, Mexico City, five characters give an ac My rating 3.5 I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.Written by the English Pen Award winner Laia Jufresa and excellently translated by Sophie Hughes Umami is a story of the troubled lives of a small community in Mexico as they go through various stages of grief What this story reveals is that everyone deals with heartache in his or her own personal way, however the things they do can affect everyone around them.Set in Belldrop Mews, Mexico City, five characters give an account of their own experiences over a five year period, which when combined together produce an overview of life within the mews Firstly there is Ana 2004 , a preteen determined to plant her own garden in the depressing back yard of her family home Despite her steps to do something positive, she and her family are still mourning the death of her little sister Luz who drowned a few years ago The second perspective comes from Marina Mendoza 2003 , a young adult artist suffering from an eating disorder whilst dealing with memories of her childhood.Alfonso, the aging owner of the mews, begins his story in 2002 a couple of years after the death of his wife Previously he was an anthropologist obsessed with the concept of umami, a Japanese word meaninga savory taste one of the five basic tastesHe is an old soul that has fallen into depression, feeling, like Ana, a misfit The final two narrators are young girls Pina 2001 who is Ana s best friend, and Luz 2000 , Ana s five year old sister shortly before she died Both speak of loneliness as they look at the world through childishly na ve eyes Pina is suffering the effects of her parents constant fighting, whereas Luz is crying out for attention from her family who will not let her join in the big girl activities Umami may not be a happy book but it has a very powerful voice None of the characters have yet completely recovered from their experiences however they are all barring Luz making positive progress Without knowing it, each member of the Belldrop Mews community is encouraging the rest as they drag themselves out from the depths of their despair some by aspiring to be like another, and others listening to what their neighbours are telling them.The message of this story is about the benefits of a community Whether big or small, being within a group of people can prevent you from wallowing in your dark feelings and begin to continue with your life instead This is something that the world at large would profit from.The unconventional style of Umami may not be agreeable with some readers due to its lack of a clear beginning, middle and end In fact it does not have a conclusion at all, leaving nothing fully resolved Yet Jufresa did not intend it to end happily ever after, real life is not like that but what is true is that with time and exposure to positive relationships things can get better.The aspect preventing a higher rating is the occasional allusion to sexual content, especially from the mouths of girls too young to fully understand the concept This was uncomfortable to read, however thankfully the majority of the novel was free of unpleasant imagery Umami is down to earth, relatable and moving Laia Jufresa is definitely an author to watch A lovely novel about grieving loved ones, relationships, childhoods, the path not taken , family, and community told through multiple points of views from various people living in a small development The variety in characters from adults the landlord whose wife died the twenty year old spinster struggling to eat to children the girl whose mother left her best friend building a milpa whose sister recently passed all tied together through community allowed for the exploration of many kin A lovely novel about grieving loved ones, relationships, childhoods, the path not taken , family, and community told through multiple points of views from various people living in a small development The variety in characters from adults the landlord whose wife died the twenty year old spinster struggling to eat to children the girl whose mother left her best friend building a milpa whose sister recently passed all tied together through community allowed for the exploration of many kinds of grief that while at times sad never felt heavy and managed to have weird dark humor Jufresa is now on my radar and I look forward to readingof her work {E-PUB} ⚛ Umami ô Umami constituye una propuesta literaria original en su af n por explorar la amplia gama de sensaciones y emociones que el ser humano en distintas etapas de la vida experimenta Una novela coral en la que los personajes aprenden a reinventarse para hacer frente a las adversidades y superar sus p rdidasAna quiere plantar una milpa en su traspatio, en pleno Distrito Federal Pero en la tierra hay altos contenidos de plomo y la privada donde vive est plagada de ausencias Su hermana muri , sus pap s est n de luto y sus hermanos de campamento su nica amiga se fue a buscar a quien la abandon cuatro a os atr s Menos mal que queda AlfonsoAlfonso es un antrop logo especializado en alimentaci n prehisp nica Es viudo y due o de la privada Campanario l mismo la dise a partir de un esquema de la lengua humana y dio a las casas el nombre de cada uno de los cinco sabores que percibimos Dulce, Salado, Amargo, cido y UmamiEn duelo, los habitantes de la privada desear an echar el tiempo atr s Tejida al rev s, esta novela se los permite Mientras Ana remueve la tierra y clava las semillas, sus vecinos hurgan en el pasado Pero el traspatio de la memoria est minado con preguntas Qui n fue mi mujer Por qu se fue mi mam Y, c mo es posible que se ahogara una ni a que sab a nadar Me gusta lo ajustado de la dicci n Hablo de una entonaci n que crea una voz propia, n tida, mesurada, esc ptica, lejanamente humorista, que procede con orden y nunca cae en la ostentaci n Laia Jufresa sortea los peligros de la autocomplacencia con pericia estil stica pero, sobre todo, con concentraci n emotivaFabio Mor bito This book is set in Mexico City, after many economical depressions and earthquakes have wrecked the city The story is set in a group of 5 rented apartment spaces, part of one house These 5 apartments are named after parts of the taste buds bitter, sweet, salty, sour, and umami Each of the families that live in the apartments one is a music school reflect parts of those aspects of taste The man who lives in Umami, a widowed anthropologist was one of the leading researchers on the flav This book is set in Mexico City, after many economical depressions and earthquakes have wrecked the city The story is set in a group of 5 rented apartment spaces, part of one house These 5 apartments are named after parts of the taste buds bitter, sweet, salty, sour, and umami Each of the families that live in the apartments one is a music school reflect parts of those aspects of taste The man who lives in Umami, a widowed anthropologist was one of the leading researchers on the flavor umami In another apartment, bitter, lives an artist who doesn t make art or eat, but makes up names of colors There is also a family reeling from the loss of a child in salty, and in sour lives a new age couple Sweet apartment houses the music school This book, told back and forth in time, discusses each of the families lives in conjunction with aspects that make us all human.I liked this book a lot, until the last third when it really started to drag for me It felt really jumbled and confused, and at this point I didn t like the back and forth quality of the storytelling The way this story is told is very interesting and works for the beginning as you are getting to know the characters I feel like by the end of this book, that way of telling the story just doesn t really work too well for me Otherwise, I enjoyed the story and learningabout each little enclave, and the larger group as a whole It is fun to get small slices of stories and then piece them together later as you go on, into on larger picture of a community.The two things that I liked the most of this book is the attention to detail and Mexican culture life, and the attention to the larger aspects of humanity that connects this book to the larger human experience Mexican culture and the general way of life is well demonstrated in this book For me, it was really funny when I got to the point where the apartments are being described and the yards gardens are being detailed because it is completely accurate The way the weather is described, the way the people are described, the way the streets and shops are described is all so accurate I can say that because I currently live in Mexico and can relate 100% This is one of those books that I would hand to a person if they told me they were going to be in Mexico for a bit and wanted to really see what life there was like It is almost like a primer for culture I love the way that this book translates the mundane into something that is exciting and interesting.My favorite part of this book is the discussion of humanity and how no matter what our culture is or where we live, we still go through the same parts of being alive and being a human I love that this was not lost in translation but actually comes out as a shining piece of this book in general This, for me, is exemplified with Alf s story and his interaction with inanimate things as a way to keep going after his wife has died His story parallels Ana s story as she searches for answers about life and the big questions after her sister Luz dies These two stories take a tumble through the parts of being human and what it means to be alive and live It relates very much to the ideal of umami we can t really put our finger on it but we know it is there and needed to balance out flavors.Overall, this was a fun and colorful book to read I love the cover artwork and how bright it is it feels very Mexican This is a book that survived translation and works very well I would highly recommend this book to others just as a cerebral read It makes you think about umami and where it exists and how that can apply to life and experiences Also, this book will teach you about traditional agricultural practices in Mexico before European contact, which is a plus