michele morano

• PresS & Praise •


"Learning to Be Your Own Best Valentine" appears in the Chicago Tribune, February 7, 2014.

"The Terrible Simplicty of Global Warming" appears in Huffington Post, January 2014.

"Learning Curve" appears in the Summer 2013 issue of Baltimore Review.

"On Going and Being and Writing Like a Woman" appears in the 2012 issue of The Fourth River.

"Crushed" appears in the Fall/Winter 2011/2012 issue of Ninth Letter.

"Boy Eats World" appears in the Fall 2011 issue of Fourth Genre.

Best American Essays 2011 has named "Evenings at the Collegeview Diner" a Notable Essay.

"Evenings at the Collegeview Diner" appears in the Fall 2010 issue ofWater~Stone Review.

Best American Essays 2008 has named "The FunMachine" a Notable Essay.

The New York Public Library has named Grammar Lessons one of the 25 Most Memorable Books of 2007.



Praise for Grammar Lessons

"In 13 lyrical essays, Morano details the personal impact of her long relationship with Spain, beginning with her first visit at age 18, continuing through a post-graduate year teaching English in Oviedo and a series of return trips a decade later. As a guiding theme, Morano uses the rules of grammar to organize and explain how Spain has affected her life. (The word "grammar," she notes, has Latin roots meaning "the process of ingesting experience.") Against a dichotomous Spanish backdrop of stillness and bravado, Morano proves her versaility in topics such as grammatical moods, motion sickness and having (or not) the panache to dine alone. Teaching and being taught provide a recurring through-line. One lesson she teaches is that "language is power," urging her students to "take notice, again and again, until a word feels less like an enemy than like a piece of fruit they want to pick and bite into." Learning experiences include an awe-inspiring jaunt into an ancient cave and a moving visit to Guernica, in which Morano narrates, superbly, the attack that inspired Picasso's famous painting. Having carried the angst of a failed relationship with her across the Atlantic, Morano does not lack for internal dialogue and thoughtful self-questioning; these slick travel stories hide a wealth of lived experience."

"I've never read a book quite like Michele Morano's account of her love affair with the Spanish language and with contemporary Spain. Without pretension, GRAMMAR LESSONS accomplishes so much: it is prose poetry, a traveler's tale, reflexive ethnography, a meditation on the possibilities of translation, and a gorgeous memoir of a woman's search for a new language that can help her to know better who she wants to be. This book sings to me--to say it in Spanish, me encanta."

"On one level, Grammar Lessons is a vivid, compelling meditation on traveling abroad. On another, the author, Michele Morano, uses her travel experience -- the exhilarations and dislocations, the unbidden surprises and disappointments -- as a lens through which she examines more deeply what it means to be human."


*Starred Review* Morano has a broad perspective on both grammar and traveling. To her, grammar as language and storytelling are key to understanding culture. Traveler is a term she associates with a way of being in the world. Here, in a deceptively slim volume comprising 13 essays, Morano shares experiences living and traveling in Spain during a year of teaching English to university students. Readers will long remember this unusual book--because of the author's premise and perspective on living in a new language, to be certain, but also because of the imaginative effect the places she has been have on her. Enjoy her remembrances of motion sickness, hiking and enjoying views of the Spanish Alps, dining alone, witnessing an accident, and getting her hair cut. The final section of the book is particularly memorable. Here, the author concentrates on the aftereffects of travel. What does it mean to retell and understand the stories of our lives? For readers who pay close attention to language, who are drawn to new contexts both on the page and on wilder shores, and who are not afraid to come to a place of insight, this book will provide much satisfaction.
Sarah Watstein, Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

Chicago Magazine, "Critical Mass: Noteworthy New Releases," March 2007.

Authortrek.com interview, March 2007:

“People to Watch in 2007”  Time Out Chicago, Jan. 11, 2007 

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