Laura Resau Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Laura Resau
Photo: Tina Wood

Laura Resau

An interview with Laura Resau

BookBrowse's Tamara Smith talks with Laura Resau about the emotional significance of her collaboration with María Virginia Farinango.

BookBrowse's Tamara Smith talks with Laura Resau about the emotional significance of her collaboration with María Virginia Farinango.

In Conversation With Laura Resau

In the author's note in The Queen of Water, Laura Resau tells the story of walking into María Virginia Farinango's small shop one snowy day. She had met María Virginia once before at the small community college where Laura taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and María Virginia was taking a class with Laura's colleague. Of this meeting she writes:

Because of the weather, [María Virginia's] store was deserted except for the two of us and her toddler son. It felt cozy there, wrapped in musty wool smells. I ended up staying for hours, sitting cross-legged on the floor with her. She told me the story of her life... Throughout her story, the cultural anthropologist in me was riveted, and the writer in me was jumping up and down. I desperately wanted to write this story. María Virginia concluded, 'One of my dreams is to write a book about my life.' She smiled. 'But I want to do it with an experienced author.' I burst out, 'I'd love to do it!'

And so their work together began.

In their partnership, the two women had to create a safe, trusting, and respectful space between them, and they had to find a way to facilitate the actual writing of the story while sharing time, energy, and some intensely personal pieces of information. As I am immensely interested in this process - a collaboration with another person in which the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts - I contacted Laura Resau and asked her about her experience. This is what she said:

This collaboration was very special to me. While I was studying for my masters degree in cultural anthropology, I focused on indigenous women's issues in Latin America. I read tons of journal articles and books on the subject, and, in my own research, I spent time with indigenous Oaxacan women of all ages who shared their life stories with me. For me, the opportunity to do a more in-depth, collaborative project with María Virginia was a dream come true, and it brought me to an entirely new level of understanding of how it feels to be an indigenous woman.

During years of intense interviews and conversations, María Virginia and I went so much deeper than my graduate school research had allowed. We had to thoroughly dissect and analyze hundreds of her life experiences - with special attention to the most painful ones. We both knew that in order to make her story gripping and moving, we had to delve deep into sensitive territory. Our process probably had a lot in common with intensive therapy (and she did feel unexpected therapeutic benefits, actually!) In this way, I came as close as possible to being inside her memories, her thoughts, her feelings, her skin - it was a profoundly emotional experience for me. It's a rare and precious thing when a person trusts you to get this close. María Virginia and I hope our readers experience this in some way too.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Laura Resau at BookBrowse
The Queen of Water jacket The Ruby Notebook jacket Star in the Forest jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Laura Resau but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Atia Abawi

    Atia Abawi

    Atia Abawi was born to Afghan parents in West Germany and was raised in the United States. She graduated from Virginia Tech and was awarded their Outstanding Alumna honor. After college, Abawi worked for CNN as a foreign news... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Queen of Water

    Try:
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

  • Deborah Ellis

    Deborah Ellis

    Deborah Ellis has been all over the world. And she hasn't just visited places, she's done things. Big things. She went to Pakistan to help at an Afghan Refugee Camp; she went to Israel and the Ghaza Strip to talk with ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Queen of Water

    Try:
    No Safe Place
    by Deborah Ellis

We recommend 6 similar authors

View all 6 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Bloodbath Nation
    Bloodbath Nation
    by Paul Auster
    In recent years, Booker Prize­–nominated novelist Paul Auster has increasingly turned to ...
  • Book Jacket: The Nazi Conspiracy
    The Nazi Conspiracy
    by Brad Meltzer, Josh Mensch
    The Nazi Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch was a big hit with our First Impressions readers...
  • Book Jacket
    Yonder
    by Jabari Asim
    The captivating historical novel Yonder turns an intimate lens towards the tragedy and survivorship ...
  • Book Jacket: After Sappho
    After Sappho
    by Selby Wynn Schwartz

    "Someone will remember us, I say, even in another time."
    —Sappho, fragment ...


Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Love of My Life
by Rosie Walsh
An up-all-night love story wrapped in a mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Ghosted.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Moonrise Over New Jessup
    by Jamila Minnicks

    "Jamila Minnicks pulled me into pages of history I'd never turned before."—Barbara Kingsolver

  • Book Jacket

    This Other Eden
    by Paul Harding

    A novel inspired by the true story of Malaga Island from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Tinkers.

  • Book Jacket

    Margot
    by Wendell Steavenson

    A young woman struggles to break free of her upper-class upbringing amid the whirlwind years of the sexual revolution.

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

It's A G T Me

and be entered to win..

Who Said...

No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.