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Flirting in Spanish: What Mexico Taught Me about Love, Living and Forgiveness Paperback – July 1, 2011
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More About the Author
I am a Philadelphia-born writer living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico since 1992. I write about raising a bicultural family in One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk about Polyamory, Househusbandry, Mixed Marriage, Open Adoption and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love,edited by Rebecca Walker (Riverhead Books, 2009).
Selections from Flirting in Spanish, my memoir listed here on Amazon, are included in Mexico: A Love Story (Seal Press, 2006); Not What I Expected, The Unpredictable Road from Womanhood to Motherhood (Paycock Press, 2007), Sport Literate (2009), salonmagazine.com (1999).
My personal essays and fiction appear in Solamente en San Miguel II (2010), The Huffington Post(2010), SOL literary Magazine (2010), The Hawk Will Never Die, Tales from St. Joseph´s Hardwood (Sports Publishing, 2005), Philadelphia Stories (2006), and The San Miguel Writer(1994). My essay on bicultural living was broadcast on National Public Radio in 2000. I have written for various regional magazines and newspapers.
I am proud to be the producer/instructor of the Teen Writers Workshop, a free creative writing workshop for San Miguel teens. It is part of the San Miguel Writers Conference held in February each year. sanmiguelwritersconference.org
While I can pronounce many complicated words in Spanish, I have yet to master the art of flipping the top off a Corona bottle with the seat belt buckle, a skill at which my Mexican husband is adept.
Top Customer Reviews
There she meets Carlos, an extremely poor nineteen-year-old student, who captures her heart and brings her out of a deep pain she has hidden for years. Together, they find how love has no boundaries.
A story that transcends cultures, age, and economic stations, Flirting in Spanish is well worth the read.
Title: Flirting In Spanish: What Mexico taught me about love, living and forgiveness
Author: Susan McKinney de Ortega
Publisher: Antaeus Books, Inc.
Publish Date: July 1, 2011
Source: I received a copy from the author. This did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
You're a memoir lover.
You're a armchair traveler.
What's the Story?:
From Publishers Weekly: "Running from paralyzing memories of an attempted rape and the decade of silence and shame that followed, Ortega lands in Mexico at 33, trying not to fall for a much younger local. In 1992 the author, the daughter of champion NBA coach Jack McKinney, was teaching English to Mexican teenagers when she met 19-year-old Carlos, who ardently pursues her despite the age and huge cultural differences. She resists at first, due to their divergent backgrounds--Ortega's childhood was one of summer vacation rentals and white gloves at Mass, while Carlos was a high school dropout who didn't have running water until age 10. But when she realizes that she is surprised a man could be kind to her like her father, "I didn't feel like a nervous wreck of a person anymore." It's not an instant happy ending as Ortega contends with the extreme poverty Carlos and his family live in, the machismo culture, and her own lingering doubts, with one foot in Mexico and the other wavering. When she finally achieves hard-won contentment, it's a joyous moment."
My Two Cents:
I've had the opportunity to travel to Mexico quite bit so I was excited to read this book from the travel aspect. I most definitely was not disappointed in that aspect.Read more ›
In the interest of full-disclosure, McKinney is a former colleague. We were reporters together at a Madison TV station in the 80s. But as a professional writer, I don't give my stamp of approval to a book just because I know the author. A book must be well-written and profound in some way. This book is profound on so many levels.
"Flirting in Spanish" is gripping and quick read, but it is not a "fluff" book like so many are today. This book will open your eyes, your heart, and even shake you to your core. You'll ask yourself how you define love, what you truly value in life, and if you are living a life of authenticity -- or just existing in a superficial world. McKinney takes the reader on her journey through hardship, adversity, and exploration to ultimately find the true meaning of life and love.
McKinney's journey is compelling and awe-inspiring. I find myself re-reading passages nearly every day since completing the book. It was so refreshing to read an honest, no-holds-barred, non-sugar coated memoir about "real life." But the book is far more than a personal memoir; it has life-lessons for anyone who reads it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a beautifully written account of an American school teacher who falls in love with one of her teen-aged students while teaching in Mexico. Read morePublished on June 16, 2012 by Anita McCloskey
Flirting in Spanish is a very quick and pleasant read despite the sometimes heavy subject matter- sexual violence, poverty, privilege, cultural and age differences- due much to the... Read morePublished on June 5, 2012 by Vania Kent
This was a great book!!! The title tells it best. She wrote about her life and learning experience of falling in love with the country and of meeting a genuine man. Read morePublished on April 10, 2012 by Leo in Fancy Boots
For those who have been fortunate enough to visit San Miguel de Allende this is an excellent view of the town and culture you may have never seen. Read morePublished on December 3, 2011 by Hal
Here is the bold, joyous memoir of Susan Mckinney de Ortega, an American woman of considerable privilege who went to Mexico in her thirties. Read morePublished on October 24, 2011 by Johanna C. Moran
Bought this book on a whim after reading a review in a Madison, WI newspaper. I love when a book exceeds my expectations. The author kept me interested throughout the novel... Read morePublished on August 27, 2011 by Winning Form
Loved reading this story of true love and overcoming barriers of all sorts; cultural, age, language, "class" in order to be true to oneself. Read morePublished on July 20, 2011 by Nancy Pappas