Astral Road Media | Interview with Patricia Engel, Author of The Veins of the Ocean
Author Patricia Engel talks about her book, The Veins of the Ocean with Astral Road Media Founder and PBS Book View Now Host/Executive Producer Rich Fahle at the 2016 AWP Conference and Book Fair.
Patricia Engel, The Veins of the Ocean, Fiction, Rich Fahle, Astral Road Media, PBS, Book View Now, AWP
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Patricia Engel on Her Debut The Veins of the Ocean

Astral Road Media Founder and PBS Book View Now Host Rich Fahle talks with Patricia Engel about her book, The Veins of the Ocean for PBS at the 2016 AWP Conference and Book Fair.

Patricia Engel is the author of Vida and It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris. Her acclaimed debut, Vida, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Fiction Award, New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and Paterson Fiction Award, winner of the International Latino Book Award, Florida Book Award, and Independent Publisher Book Award, and longlisted for The Story Prize and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Additionally, Vida was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Barnes & Noble, Latina Magazine, and Los Angeles Weekly.

Patricia’s fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, A Public Space, Boston Review, Guernica, and Harvard Review, among other publications, and received awards including the Boston Review Fiction Prize, fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Key West Literary Seminar, Norman Mailer Writer’s Colony, Hedgebrook, Ucross, and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, as well as a 2014 fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment of the Arts.


“Engel has an eye for detail. She knows how to drown the reader in a sense of enchantment… She writes exquisite moments.”—Roxane Gay, The Nation

Reina Castillo is the alluring young woman whose beloved brother is serving a death sentence for a crime that shocked the community, throwing a baby off a bridge—a crime for which Reina secretly blames herself. With her brother’s death, though devastated and in mourning, Reina is finally released from her prison vigil. Seeking anonymity, she moves to a sleepy town in the Florida Keys where she meets Nesto Cadena, a recently exiled Cuban awaiting with hope the arrival of the children he left behind in Havana. Through Nesto’s love of the sea and capacity for faith, Reina comes to understand her own connections to the life-giving and destructive forces of the ocean that surrounds her as well as its role in her family’s troubled history, and in their companionship, begins to find freedom from the burden of guilt she carries for her brother’s crime.

Set in the vibrant coastal and Caribbean communities of Miami, the Florida Keys, Havana, Cuba, and Cartagena, Colombia, with The Veins of the Ocean Patricia Engel delivers a profound and riveting Pan-American story of fractured lives finding solace and redemption in the beauty and power of the natural world, and in one another.

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