Michele Morano’s essay collection, Grammar Lessons: Translating a Life in Spain, a book of thirteen essays, is divided into three sections. The first concerns her year of living in Oviedo, teaching English and recovering from a consumptive relationship with a man she left back in the States. In the second section she writes about subsequent trips to Spain, trying to recapture some of the initial spark of travel yet it digs deeper into her first trip. The third section contains post-travel essays.
Morano writes about the fun and frivolities of language as only writers know. She is immersed in language as a student of Spanish and an English teacher.
“I am hungry, we say in English,” she writes in “Having Hunger,” an essay about language, passion, and hunger. “But in Spanish one uses a noun, as if naming a possession, a visitation, a tide of physical yearning. Tengo hambre: I have hunger.”
This essay’s intro showcases Morano’s deft ability to create a subtle double entendre. Yet again it contains those qualities of universality in which we witness our own hunger for routine, people, familiarity, touch, spontaneity, sex, and, food.
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