Miami resident Ana Veciana-Suarez, an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author, has released her latest book, “Dulcinea” (May 2, Blackstone Publishing), a historical novel set in Golden Age Spain.
As part of her launch tour, she will be interviewed by former Miami Herald books editor Connie Ogle on Friday, May 19 at 7 p.m. at Books&Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables.
Veciana-Suarez is perhaps best known for her columns on family life, where she shares personal moments of joy and sadness as well as her sharp observations on the ties that bind us.
Veciana-Suarez’s “Dulcinea” reimagines the most famous woman in Spanish literature. It alternates between the late 1500s and the early 1600s, weaving together a poignant story of love, loss and redemption. Publishing industry journal Kirkus Reviews calls it “a feminist reclamation.”
The novel’s narrator is Dolça Llull Prat, a wealthy Barcelona woman who falls in love with an impoverished poet-soldier named Miguel Cervantes. It is a forbidden relationship, one that overcomes many obstacles over the years until the writer renders her as the lowly fictional character in his bestselling masterpiece. By doing so, he unwittingly exposes his muse to ridicule and gossip. When Dolça receives Miguel’s deathbed request to see her one last time, she must race across the dangerous roads of Spain with the intention of unburdening herself of an old secret. On the journey she encounters bandits, the Inquisition and illness, but more importantly she wrestles with the choices she’s made and the regrets she has harbored. At its heart, “Dulcinea” is about missed opportunities and second chances, but it’s also about how it’s never too late to make amends.
“Dulcinea” has garnered early praise, from other writers, including Diana Abu-Jaber, author of “Fencing with the King,” who calls it “an exquisite brocade of history and imagination” and Laurie Lico Albanese, author of “Hester,” who says the novel is “a bold work of revelatory imagination filled with secrets, trysts, love, loyalty, deceptions, and passion.”
Veciana-Suarez has said the idea came to her in 10th grade, while she was reading Don Quijote in Spanish IV class. “I wanted to bring Dulcinea out of the shadows and give her a voice and a life,” she adds. “Fifty years and several detours later, I finally have.”
The author is a recipient of a CINTAS Fellowship in Creative Writing and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the state of Florida. Her commentary has appeared in Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, O The Oprah Magazine, and various newspapers and websites. Visit her at www.anavecianasuarez.com.