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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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Award-winning writer speaks at UH craft talk


Francisco Goldman currently works as a professor of literature and creative writing at Trinity College and has won multiple awards for his work. | Paul Crespo/The Daily Cougar

Francisco Goldman currently works as a professor of literature and creative writing at Trinity College and has won multiple awards for his work. | Paul Crespo/The Daily Cougar

Francisco Goldman, a writer and journalist, spoke about his experience writing a novel about his wife’s death on Monday in the Honors College Commons.

The event, which was sponsored by Inprint, the UH creative writing program and the Honors College, was centered around Goldman’s new novel, “Say Her Name.”

“This book is my mourning,” Goldman said.

“Say Her Name” is somewhat of a memoir about the love of his life, a fiction writer named Aura, who died in a body surfing accident two years into their marriage.

“I can never replace what was lost, but you can never leave it empty,” Goldman said.

Goldman turned to alcohol after his wife’s death.

“I was more than drunk for 6 months,” Goldman said. “I was hit by a car, drunk, at 5 a.m. I was told I was going to die.”

At that moment, Goldman decided it was time to write.

“I started to read a lot about what people did to cope with grief, but for me it was to write,” Goldman said.

Writing about his wife helped Goldman cope with her death.

“I was trying to capture her. It was the purest I’ve ever written,” Goldman said. “I wanted to bring alive what it was like to love her.”

Goldman spoke of the grieving process as psychedelic at times.

“I had to describe my grief with no distance. I even saw a psychiatrist about the delusions I was having from post-traumatic stress,” Goldman said.

Goldman finished his lecture with some writing tips and techniques he’s developed in his career.

“When I’m writing a book there’s a constant presence. Form gives the book meaning,” Goldman said. “Writing a novel is a search for shape. You don’t begin with style and form; it grows. Fiction and non-fiction come together and pollinate each other. The shape is the meaning.”

Goldman has written four other books, including “The Art of Political Murder,” a New York Times Notable Book.


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