Unabridged Chick

I'm Audra, a 30-something married lesbian. I love interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.
Waiting for Robert Capa - Susana Fortes, Adriana V. Lopez Shamefully, I had no idea who Robert Capa and Gerda Taro were when I started this book, but I now feel possessive and proud and affectionate toward Gerda Taro and I dare anyone to read this and not feel the same. In 1935, Jewish refugees Gerda Pohorylle and André Friedmann meet in Paris; André is a photographer who books Gerda's friend as a model for advertising images. Gerda becomes interested in the art of photography; her friend predicts a romance.The novel is told through Gerda Pohorylle (mostly; the POV does shift to André/Capa at times, usually during sex) -- who later renames herself Gerda Taro -- but the story is really about the creation of Robert Capa and André's genius, temper, and passion. Robert Capa is an assumed name, created by Gerda as a way for she and André to make more money from his (and occasionally her) photographs.I was pretty apprehensive about this one since a number of bloggers I trust didn't like this book, but once I started, I was surprised. I was immediately sucked in by the story -- Gerda is an amazing figure, and while I don't understand the appeal of André/Capa, I liked the way Fortes unfolded their romance and Gerda's education in photography. I was quite taken with the language and turn-of-phrase (like this, from page 3: "She preferred English poetry a million times over. One poem by Eliot can free you from evil, she thought. God didn't even help me escape that Wachterstrasse prison." Or this one, from page 6: "If sound waves travel through the ether, then somewhere in the galaxy there must also be the Psalms, litanies, and prayers of men floating within the stars.") and so I was surprised by the critiques that the writing/translation was problematic. And then, I started to notice the weird grammar/punctuation issues. I'm not spectacular with grammar, yet I found now and then some really atrocious sentences and punctuation gaffes. Perhaps the result of my reading an uncorrected proof; perhaps this is a bad translation. Maybe something else entirely. But it didn't bother me enough to leave this book unfinished, and I think there is some really gorgeous language here and a heartbreaking, moving story. This is one that will stick with me (I'm still sighing over it to friends and colleagues) and I have no doubt this will be a frequent reread for me.