Readings and Book Signings in Philadelphia, PA
Taller Puertorriqueño, “Meet the Author Series,” March 19, 2016.
“Professor and Author Concha Alborg presents her newest work, “Divorce After Death”, a nonfiction description of the tumultuous aftermath following the death of her husband after a long battle with cancer. This loss produced unspeakable grief, but so did learning firsthand the anguish of betrayal. This memoir brings family, friends and colleagues to travel the journey of healing with the author and to understand how her bi-cultural background, self-deprecating humor and determination paved the way for her to find happiness, love and acceptance. This presentation commemorates International Women’s Day.”
Saint Joseph’s University, Drexel Library, “Chew on This. Discussions with Faculty,” April 15, 2015.
Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas, “Women’s History Month Tertulia,” March 27, 2015.
The Franklin Inn Writers Club, February 26, 2015.
Head House Books, February 11, 2015
Saint Joseph’s University, Concha Alborg, Book Reading, October 13, 2011.
College of New Jersey, October 26, 2011, “American in Translation: An Immigrant Comes of Age.”
Spanish author describies growing up as an immigrant
Author Concha Alborg speaks to the College about her newest novel on Oct. 26. (Tom O’Dell / Photo Editor)
By Amy Reynolds Correspondent
For most authors, the best writing comes from the heart, which is exactly the case when it comes to Spanish author, Concha Alborg.
“This book is not my memoir. It is a fictional work. I write about what is familiar to me,” Alborg said, introducing her most recent piece of fiction.
On Oct. 26, Alborg spoke about her novel “America in Translation: A Novel in Three Novellas,” to Spanish classes, Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish Honor Society and the Spanish Club.
“‘America in Translation’ is a coming-of-age story of sorts,” Alborg said. The protagonist, Inma, is in the process of becoming an adult and finds herself torn between her parents’ immigrant life and her life as an American woman.
Alborg, who was born in Spain during the difficult years after the Spanish Civil War, moved to the U.S. with her parents under the auspices of the Fulbright Program in 1961.
Growing up an avid reader, Alborg always dreamed of becoming a writer. She eventually earned her Ph.D. in Spanish literature, taught at Saint Joseph’s for 27 years and wrote numerous articles, novels and reviews.
To give the audience a brief idea of what “America in Translation” is about, Alborg read excerpts from each novella.
The first, “The Marine Corps Wife,” describes the year Inma’s husband was fighting in Vietnam while she was at home with their newborn daughter.
“The Spanish Daughter,” the second novella, takes place immediately after the death of Inma’s mother and focuses on the extreme contrast between contemporary Spain and American culture in the 1970s.
The third and final novella, “An American Woman,” is told through various journals and tells the story of how she has transitioned into American life.
The novel, which is told in three different voices, is entirely in English, but it was not originally written that way; Alborg initially planned on writing the novel partially in Spanish and partially in English.
“I wanted to mirror how immigrants live,” she said, explaining that immigrants speak both their first language and English.
Alborg had a difficult time getting the novel published when it was in two different languages however, which is why the book was published entirely in English.
While the novel is entirely fictional, each of the novellas, which can be read separately or as a whole, loosely reflects Alborg’s own life and her own transition into American culture.
“I wanted the reader to fill in the holes,” Albord said, which is why each novella focuses on a pivotal moment in the protagonist’s life, rather than summarizing her entire life in one novel.
Today, Alborg feels as though she has successfully transitioned into American culture, but she still feels connected to her Spanish heritage as well.
“The only time I’m happy is when I’m on a plane going to Spain or coming home,” Alborg said she jokes with her family.
“For me writing is sort of like an experiment,” she continued. “‘America in Translation’ focuses on finding yourself in a new culture.”
George Mason University, November 8, 2011, “American in Translation: An Immigrant Comes of Age. An Evening with Concha Alborg.”
The students in Professor Ricardo F. Vivancos class, Spanish 551/680, Exile and Displacement in Hispanic Literatures, read American in Translation as one of the required texts.
Taller Puertorriqueño, Philadelphia, Meet the Author Series: Concha Alborg, October 27, 2012