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Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan [Paperback]

Rosy Hugener , Carl J Hugener
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Review

It's clearly written by someone with a passion for the material. Obviously a lot of work and research went into this. Something of a labor of love, I'd guess, and it's showing.
--ABNA Expert reviewer.

A family story with all the rich cultural references combined with a bit of intrigue. Great job with the descriptions of the towns, driving and other peculiarities of "going home" to a latin culture.
 
----ABNA Expert reviewer

From the Author

Why did you want to tell this story?My mother died when I was born, and I was raised by my grandmother; she was like my mom.  My grandmother was from Merida, Yucatan and she always told me fascinating stories about her life and that part of Mexico.  After I came to the U.S., I was taking some English classes at DePaul University and was asked to write a story in one of those classes.  My professor liked the story, and this story basically evolved into Chapter 1 of Xtabentum.  After taking a few years to focus on raising my kids, I decided to expand on this, and interweave real events from the life of my grandmother and other ancestors with the many interesting things that happened in Merida in the early 1900s, just after the Mexican Revolution.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? I have been interested in writing since I was a child. I grew up in a family that would interrupt a dinner conversation to recite a famous poem. And many of my relatives on my father's side were writers, including my great grandfather, who was a journalist and founder of a Mexico City newspaper, and his father, whose history of Yucatan won a medal at 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.  So it runs in the family.

We are big readers too. As I grew up, my grandmother had me reading everything from classics like Don Quixote to romance novels bought on the street.  My father preferred writers in English, so I had my share of that as well.

How long did it take you to write it?
I spent around five years doing the research and writing the book.  This was not dedicated time, but mostly time grabbed late at night while the rest of the family was sleeping.  As you know, English is my second language, so there was a lot of work getting the book into acceptable English form.  This is where Carl came.  After my five years, he spent another 6 months or more on a rewrite.  This was challenging because we wanted to preserve my voice as the voice of the narrator.  Many people who know me have commented that it sounds like me, so I guess we were successful in this.  But some people who don't know me have commented that it sounds a bit stilted, or that there are some grammatical problems.  At least some of this is by design; we wanted it to sound like something someone from Mexico would say.   After the writing and rewriting process we gave the book a number of friends and relatives for comments, including several who are aspiring writers themselves.  Their comments were very useful in polishing the final product.

From the Inside Flap

Go to Xtabentum.com for more information about the book

About the Author

Rosy Hugener was born and raised in Mexico and is the descendent of one of the most prominent families in Yucatan, a family that has included governors, senators, bishops, historians and journalists. Her family members were participants in many of the historical events described, and old family stories were what inspired Rosa first to researching, and then to writing about, the events in the book. Today, Rosa is a systems engineer who lives in the Chicago area. Carl Hugener is a management consultant who works primarily in the banking industry. He is the author and co-author of a number of white papers and magazine articles on banking issues. His work has appeared in publications such as Banking Strategies, Cards & Payments and Digital Transactions.
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