Monique Urza's first novel is an intimate portrait of a second-generation Basque-American who struggles to reconcile her memories of the simplicity of the past with the reality of change in the present. The Deep Blue Memory is a fictionalized story of immigration told from the point of view of the granddaughter of Basque immigrant grandparents and daughter of a prominent first-generation family. The narrator evokes the warmth of her grandmother's home and the early bonding with her extended family, the year abroad in a French-Basque grammar school where she learned to understand the homeland of her grandparents, the hypnotic sound of her father's typewriter, and the increasing effect of public notoriety on family privacy. The Deep Blue Memory addresses themes that are central to all of human existence. Urza examines the eternal human search for identity - a search that at the level of the first generation is forward looking, but at the next level, the level of the grandchildren of immigrants, too often looks backward, clinging to images of a remembered past. Told from the perspective of the child of a writer, The Deep Blue Memory treats the elements of time and knowledge, and of art and reality, as being intertwined. Finally, more than being about any specific character, this book is about family: its makeup, its complexity, and its delicateness when transposed to America, the land of cataclysmic change. It is at once a celebration of family and a grieving for family. At its end, it is a coming to grips with the positive reality - the liberation of the individual - that over time is the gift of the immigration process.
About Monique Laxalt Urza
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Published April 1, 1993
by University of Nevada Press.
Literature & Fiction.