I'm in 15 Views of Miami, edited by Jaquira Diaz (Burrow Press, 2014)
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Welcome to the Whimsical Project

Welcome to the Whimsical Project, the art and literary blog of expat writer Michèle-Jessica (M.J.) Fièvre.  M.J. writes from Miami (Florida), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia). “Your blog is a mitzvah. Thanks for inviting me to play.” Matthew Sharpe, author of The Sleeping Father. Here’s to help you navigate through the different categories in this…

After the reading

BADASS storytellers visit Books & Books in Coral Gables

I read from the BADASS last night at Books & Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables), celebrating the eighth anniversary of Lip Service. Lip Service is a quarterly event that features eight stories, by eight writers, that are only eight minutes long. Books & Books launched the collection of the best stories from the event’s first eight…

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Dan Wakefield talks about Anthony Gagliano

One of my favorite people in the world: Dan Wakefield. Dan, who introduced me to the world of nonfiction at Florida International University, is a novelist, journalist and screenwriter whose best-selling memoir “New York in the Fifties” was produced as a documentary film. He spoke tonight in Miami at The Betsy Hotel on South Beach. Dan…

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15 Views of Miami on Livestream

Monday’s event was a success! What a great evening at Books & Books! Reading & Discussion by FIFTEEN VIEWS OF MIAMI contributors and editor Jaquira Díaz. “The city that emerges from the stories in 15 Views of Miami is not the impossibly sunny, shiny place we see on television but the humid, crowded, less glamorous one we know…

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Farewell to Arms, by Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel

They named the gator Chompsky, and laughed at the cleverness of the name that, like salve, calmed the fears raging and blistering inside tired minds. In between mounds of academic words for the thesis that was evading them, they’d escaped the claustrophobic Philosophy department for some just-us time off-campus. In the canal, the alligator propelled…

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Catching Crazy, by Fabienne Josaphat

It’s twelve o’clock when I get the phone call from the hospital. My mother has died. I’m still holding the phone when Julien walks in. “Are you okay, Michou?” he asks me, drenched in sweat with a screw driver between his teeth. In his hand, he’s clasping a pair of pliers pried from our daughters’…

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Tarija, Bolivia: Passion Fruit Mousse

Meet Martha Tárraga Hevia y Vaca. She’s from Tarija, Bolivia, a city that chapacas singers used to call Tierra Andaluz or “Adalusian land” because of its wondrous rivers. Ever since she moved away from her birthplace, first to go to college in La Paz, and later to follow her father in Santa Cruz de la Sierra,…

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SUR: Maria Zanutti’s art collection

In the work of Bolivian artist Maria Zanutti/Alejandra Barbery, the magic holds even as the shapes and vibrant colors spin out of control—or is it precisely because they spin out of control? There is something brutally honest about a piece like Sor Maria Jesús de Agreda: a nun reimagines her world to cast away boredom—she surrounds…

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Majadito: Bolivia’s Treasure

El “Majadito” is one of the most famous dishes of Bolivia. It comes from the eastern side of the country, from the very heart of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. This dish was created during the pre-Columbian era when people mostly depended on meat, cassava, plantains, rice, and other grains. The word “majau” means smashed meat;…

writing

Laura McDermott: Scenes from the Rearview Mirror

_______________ 1. Barreling through the Everglades on the 85 mile stretch of two lane highway linking civilization to civilization a land bridge of asphalt, you, Lover, appear there beside me, bumming off a ride. For the loveliest words I wished you’d say are the words I have not said. This flat road stretches like the…

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The Florida Book Review gets a new home!

Update your bookmarks! The Florida Book Review is currently moving into its new site, at FloridaBookReview.net. Founded by Lynne Barrett and Susan Jo Parsons, The Florida Book Review features reviews of books with Florida settings or subjects, as well as interviews and essays about Florida’s literary scene. Editor Lynne Barrett was one of my mentors at Florida International University. She…

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A Canadian Thanksgiving, by Daniela Lara Serna

The United States isn’t the only country in the world where people celebrate Thanksgiving. Here are five others: Canada, Liberia, (one town in) the Netherlands, Grenada, and the Australian territory of the Norfolk Island. According to Zack Beauchamp, “Canadian Thanksgiving is about the 1578 voyage of Arthur Frobisher, a British explorer who threw a meal…

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A Classic with a Twist, by Milena Gigliotti

Apple pie is a regular guest at Thanksgiving parties across the U.S. In Bolivia, this dessert is not as popular, but those who enjoy it wish it were available in more coffee shops and bakeries. My cousin-in-law, Eliana, is the creator of one of the best apple pies I have tasted in Santa Cruz. These…

Author Photo 2011 by Emile Hill

Nobody go run me, an interview with Joanne C. Hillhouse

I had a little chat with Antiguan and Barbudan author, Joanne C. Hillhouse. We talked about her exciting new book, Musical Youth, and a little bit about Joanne’s own journey. Joanne’s writing has been described as “honest,” “real,” “poetic,” and “lyrical.” Her culture is at the heart of her writing: “Obvious is the ‘writer’s ear’…

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Writing in Non-Traditional Settings: Exchange for Change!

After 4 months in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, teaching Writing to a group of dynamic students, it’s time to say good bye. I’m looking forward to returning to Miami because I’m going to work as a writing instructor for the nonprofit Exchange for Change, recently started by South Florida writer Kathie Klarreich. Echange for Change, which is…

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Miami Vs. Orlando

Mark your calendar, Miami: Thursday, November 20, at 6:00pm As Orlando-based Burrow Press expands its 15 Views Anthology Series to the 305, come celebrate the release of 15 Views of Miami with a head-to-head, bracket-style reading that pits Miami and Orlando writers against one another in a veritable inkbath of words. This free event is located…

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I would be an excellent X-rated film critic (Anyone hiring?)

This Q&A with M.J. Fievre is part of  Badass, Lip Service: True Stories, The Double Album, edited by Andrea Askowitz. Click here to buy the book. Don’t miss the launch of the story collection on Wednesday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m. on the grounds of the Miami Book Fair International. Corner of NE 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue.…

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Dariel Suarez in Search of Genuine Thought and Emotion

Dariel Suarez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He lived there until 1997, when he immigrated to the United States. He’s the author of the chapbook In the Land of Tropical Martyrs, upcoming from Backbone Press. It is available for pre-order until November 20th. You should get it. Writer Michael Hettich notes, “Though In the Land…

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Badass chicks

Sarah Klein and Andrea Askowitz were pimping Badass last night, telling people about our debut at the Miami Book Fair International. At The Swamp, Wed. November 19, 7 p.m. Corner of NE 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue. The show they were on is called Only in Miami Show. I’m proud to have a story included in this…