Tag Archives: Patricia Engel

Vida Giveaway: winner!

Ziggy the Wiener Dog reading Vida by Patricia Engel

There’s a winner of a signed copy of Vida by Patricia Engel!

Here’s the video of the drawing (sorry for the slight jostling; as usual, I was holding the camera up with my left hand and “self-taping”):

And if you don’t want to bother to watch the video and stare at me in front of my bookshelves recording myself as I pick the winner live…the winner is…



*drum roll please*


*drum roll*

*drum roll*

The commenter named sunny!
whose comment was:
“I want too! Ooh!! Cool giveaway! Immigrant story? You know, we all have LOTS of these?? Sadly? Anyway. I was super little.. 6 years old maybe? I just remember grown-ups being giants.. I came about to their waists. My mother was in a car accident, it was NOT her fault — someone rammed into HER — cops came and sided with the other person, a white woman, while my mother struggled to communicate what happened. Then my father was there, who speaks slightly better English, he kind of got into a spat with the officer, and the cop said, words I won’t ever forget, “I can’t understand her [my mother]! She’s speaking Asianese to me or whatever it is she’s speaking! Tell her to speak English for chrissakes, it’s America.” Ultimately we had to go to court for the whole incident and I recall the trouble my parents had communicating to their own lawyer. That was when I decided I wanted to become a lawyer someday, to be able to advocate for people like my mom and dad.”

*cymbal clash!*

Congratulations to Sunny–and thank you for supporting Patricia Engel’s book. I hope all of you who wanted a copy and didn’t win, still manage to find yourselves a copy soon.

I assigned each of you a number, in the order of comments, and used a random number generator to pick a number between 1 and 17, as there were 17 entries. The generated number was matched with the assigned number of the contest entrants.

The winning number was 7.


The wiener dogs reading Vida are Scarlet the Wiener Dog and Ziggy the Wiener Dog. I rescued both of them at separate times many years ago and they are now 18 and 14 years old, respectively. (And I wrote a blog post about them as part of my Alphabet History project).


Filed under Giveaway, Reading

Vida giveaway!

Scarlet the Wiener Dog reading Vida by Patricia Engel

My friend Patricia Engel’s book Vida is up next for a giveaway. Vida, Patty’s debut story collection, came out in 2010 to countless (really, I lost count) rave reviews, including one from the ever discriminating Michiko Kakutani of the NY Times, who said, “What makes Sabina’s coming-of-age story so compelling is the arresting voice Ms. Engel has fashioned for her: a voice that’s immediate, unsentimental and disarmingly direct.” I of course second that review…and all the others.

I am so very proud of her–and she should be proud of this amazing story collection. I audibly squeaked when I discovered Vida was included in the NY Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2010 list. I remember when Patty workshopped one of the stories in its infancy at VONA–that I could witness the growth of her work has been an amazing privilege. Her writing is spectacular.

So in all the hubbub, between all the ecstatic blackberry message exchanges and emails, it never dawned on me to do a giveaway. Horrors! But it’s better late than never. And it’s better late than never for all of you to read Patricia Engel’s Vida.

Opening lines:

“It was the year my uncle got arrested for killing his wife, and our family was the subject of all the town gossip. My dad and uncle were business partners, so my parents were practically on trial themselves, which meant that most of the parents didn’t want their kids to hang around me anymore, and I lost the few friends I had.

We were foreigners, spics, in a town of blancos. I don’t know how we ended up there. There’s tons of Latinos in New Jersey, but somehow we ended up in the one town that only kept them as maids. All the kids called me brownie on account of my permanent tan, or Indian because all the Indians they saw on TV were dark like me. I thought the gringos were all pink, not white, but I never said so. I was a quiet kid. Lonely, and a hell of a lot lonelier once my family became the featured topic on the nightly news.”

Whet your appetite?

So let’s get to the heart of the matter: the giveaway!

I’m giving away a signed copy of Patricia Engel’s short story collection. You can see a copy of the book in the photos of my “wiener dogs reading books” (Scarlet is above, and Ziggy is at bottom). The collection debuted in soft copy, as you see here, and it is signed by the author.

Here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment below. You can say anything you want–e.g., you can choose to tell me why you want a copy of the book, or tell me about an immigrant experience (or an experience in which you were a minority, not necessarily having to do with being a person of color), or a coming of age moment, or simply say you just rrrreally want a copy of the book. Do fill out your email address when you fill out the fields in the comment box (it won’t be published to the world, but I will need it in order to contact you in case you win)!
2) 1 entry per person
3) The giveaway is open worldwide.
4) If you win the contest, I will email you for your mailing address.
5) Winners will be chosen by a random number generator.
6) I will be announcing the contest winner on the blog. None of your personal information will be posted, aside from your first name and last initial (or the nickname you choose to list in your comment). If you see that someone else has entered the same name as you, please try to pick a different nickname to call yourself, just for sanity.
7) If you are below the age of 13, please ask your parents to fill out the comment field with their information.

The deadline to enter a comment is Wednesday August 10, 2011 1:00pm PST. The winner (picked at random) will be announced August 10, 2011 by 9:00pm PST.

Update: The winner is announced!
Ziggy the Wiener Dog reading Vida by Patricia Engel


Filed under Giveaway, Reading

The carrots, the carrots!

Why are carrots in NYC SO BIG?!

Why? How? Why…?

Really. Why are the carrots SO BIG out here in NYC? The carrot you see above is typical of carrots in NYC–just…ginormous. It was procured at Fairway Market in Harlem–but I have seen similarly sized carrots at the Union Square Greenmarket, too.

Do they grow a different variety out here because of climate/soil? I have so many questions. So.many.questions.

But for now: NYC Carrots. #WINNING!

Also, I had the most WINNING (yes, Charlie Sheen’s “WINNING” has replaced “FTW” in our vernacular) ramen today at Ippudo. It was ramen-mazing:

Kumamoto Tonkatsu Ramen at Ippudo

I promise, this blog will get back to regularly scheduled programming soon. But it’s been a crazy week: I got the flu (some mega-germ traveled in someone’s body fluid (spit?) onto my hand, into my mouth, into my flu-shot-immunized body, braved the elements, and managed to take over the ship). This hijacking occurred during the week we were moving apartments. Any vertically-oriented minute was spent unpacking, or shlepping my body over to the new place.

Monday begins a new week: back to the novel. 🙂

And something I’ve been meaning to throw out for some time…
You should read Mat Johnson’s* amazing new novel, PYM. I just finished reading it, and did not want to put it down. The voice, the plot, the themes! If you don’t believe me, read the NY Times review, the Wall Street Journal’s review of PYM, or Salon’s book review.

And you should read Vida by Patricia Engel**, too. Pitch perfect stories that were recently optioned into/as a film. And for the record, Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times LOVED it.

*Mat is a friend and mentor/teacher of mine. Just sayin’.
**Patty is a good friend of mine–we met Mat together. Also, just sayin’, in the interest of full disclosure.


Filed under Funny Things, Life, New York City, Reading