Monday, October 15, 2012

Marta Merajver and Just Toss the Ashes (archived)

Bienvenidos. Bringing you the first bilingual broadcast with Argentinian author, scholar and translator, Marta Merajver.  Just Toss the Ashes (Gracias por la muerte) is available at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble and directly through the publisher at Jorge Pinto Books, Inc.

Blessed are the peacemakers...
a white cop, a black kid

Arnold Penxa is a white cop from black Detroit, Michigan determined to save the lives of children no matter the cost, no matter the color. He is an ex war veteran and retired Detroit policeman, now working for a private school security firm,and he sniffs out a conspiracy for a multiple school shooting. The problem is that nobody wants to believe him except for a few close friends, so he's forced to act mostly alone to bust up the plot. Forget the usual suspects. This is the Mad Motor City where the line between common sense and criminal behavior is never clear.

Get the book HERE at SMASHWORDS


  1. Marta, I love listening to you speak. You are well-spoken, intelligent, thoughtful, graceful, and cultured. I look forward to your next two novels. I strongly endorse "Just Toss the Ashes," which, as mentioned in the interview, is easily found on Amazon. John, thank you for sharing this interview with the American English-speaking public. Marta has an abundance of wisdom to share with the world.

  2. You're welcome. I am always fascinated by brilliance and wisdom and sometimes all I can do is hold up a mirror and reflect the light for others to hopefully bask in.

  3. Linnea, I'm humbled.

    I'd like to thank John not only for giving me the opportunity to feature in his podcast but also because the ease and knowledge with which he conducted the interview made it a real pleasure to talk in an unfamiliar medium.
    A big hand to a great interviewer!

  4. Marta, It is a delight to hear your voice after reading so many of your insights about writing and literature. I have not yet had the pleasure of reading "Just Toss the Ashes" but I will do so soon. You are a very thoughtful and insightful scholar of modern literature. I am looking forward to reading your novels and continuing to learn from you. Not surprisingly, your novels sound very profound. I may yet take up my niece's challenge to learn Spanish so I can also read them in your original language.

  5. Marta, I am elated to have met a person such as yourself. I thank John for sharing this interview. I continue to learn from you Marta.I wish you much success in your literary journey.

  6. Thank you, James and Liz. I'm learning from you too. Both of you are important people in my life, and it's a blessing that our paths have crossed.

    Liz, I'd be very happy if you also read this book. Your opinion counts!

  7. Marta, so great to hear your voice. I really enjoyed hearing its timbre and am pleased to think you sound just as lovely as I imagined. More importantly your reasons for approaching the topics you write about were interesting to me. I read a book for young adults once which began with the line "Anthony died." I've never forgotten it. Nor have I forgotten how helpful it was to one of my students whose brother had committed suicide, just as Anthony did in the book. These topics must be discussed. Books make them come alive allowing us to probe deeper into the reasons and repercussions. Best wishes with your book!

  8. Agreed, Elaine. These topics should be discussed but nobody will write about them because there is no profit potential. Ferengi Rule Of Acquisition Number Eight: Small print leads to large risk.

  9. Marta, I commend your reason for writing novels--your sense of urgency to present serious subjects in ways that open them to public discussion! As you said during the interview, we now seem to have more writers than readers. I suspect that the majority write primarily for financial gain, but that is not your way nor the way of most serious authors.

    There is such need for thinking people--people like you who study first and then respond--to converge around issues that affect our lives. To do it in a way that's entertaining, too, is a great gift! Adding even one new idea to the never-ending stories of humanity is worth the effort of writing well. I salute you and will gratefully join your conversations.

  10. Thank you so much for your thoughts, Joyce. You yourself are one of the thinking people, as is well-proven in "Pieces of You", the novel I had the pleasure to review.

  11. A writer that actually reads and reviews books! Imagine that! You do know, Marta, don't you, that there is no profit in that! What about Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 144? "There's nothing wrong with charity ... as long as it winds up in your pocket." Just kidding. Not many littérateurs left in the world...sigh...

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed the interview, and very much looking forward to reading this intriguing, intelligent book.


  13. As you very well know, dear Marta, there is no ending to the quest, which makes Achilles more than worthy of a second try --I cannot but agree-- let´s thank the Gods that endowed him with a vulnerable heel.

    and, yes, in contemporary terms, the voice of the prophets are written on the subway walls, as S & G used to sing. Though they are voiceless.


  14. I meant ¨the words of the prophets¨

  15. Thank you so much, PJ and Jorge. In fact Achilles had his father to thank for the heel, and the whole thing is a misunderstanding, for his divine mother's concept of immortality was none other than death. It's in death that we are immortal.

    @John, Joyce reviewed one of my books first, so it was only fair to reciprocate. I believe in fairness. It's not written in the books of destiny that I will make money. But I wrote a book about it too.

  16. "Del amor y otros demonios," "Dona Flores and Her Two Husbands", "Como agua para chocolate". I doubt any of these books would be welcomed today in a post-modern, point and click, live for the second society.

  17. Marta, congratulations for this wonderful interview. I am looking forward to read this novel. You are a great writer and a great teacher, keep it up!

  18. Hi,
    Thank you for interviewing Marta Merajver. As I listened to her interview today, several things flashed in my mind about what she said. The first being that she stated she writes because she has something to say and does not know how long she has to say it. In other words she has discovered her voice. In my opinion that is one of the rare characteristics of great writers. They have found that alternative world where they seek, question and find answers, and there is then this urgency to get whatever they see down on paper, in a computer, or whatever writing equipment they used to get their message recorded.

    The second thing she mentioned that caused me to think concerned her book Just Tossed The Ashes. I have ordered that book to read because I liked how she described the real protagnist in the book. It is Lukas' search that becomes the pivotal point in the book, and I want to see how she wove that into her book to the reader.

    Finally, when talking about the great writers of South America or other great writers she emphatically states that she does not see any writers who are standing out. This is so true. We have reduced writing a book to writing what is on our mind, and that is not writing a book. Writing a book is a piece of art and this art comes through learning and practicing the craft, just as Michaelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and many other artists, regardless of whether they were sculptors, painters, writers, or singers, have done in the past.

    Once again, I thank you for an excellent interview. It was a pleasure to sit here and listen to what Marta had to say. I was surprised that eighteen minutes went by so quickly. I could have listen for another eighteen minutes or an hour.

    I also appreciated the timely questions by you, John. It was definitely refreshing to listen to an American who speaks fluent Spanish. Speaking two or three languages enriches the life of every individual who accomplishes such a feat.

    Great Job, Marta and Great job John.

    I enjoyed it tremendously and look forward to another interview in the future.


  19. A very nice post, Patricia. Thank you.

    John Byk

  20. LucĂ­a,
    I'm really moved that you took time to listen. Thank you so much for your encouragement.
    Along a different line, there are no great teachers to those who're not great students :)

  21. Patti, I'm truly grateful for your thoughts.
    You are a role model in many ways, but your approach to writing and writers is rare, and thus much appreciated.
    You always get to the marrow, which makes your comments invaluable