What happens when you are “laki-sa-lola” and your grandmother peppers your upbringing with Spanish proverbs? Put them in a book, of course.
Maria Paz Eleizegui Weir did just that with her new book Lo Que Mi Abuela Me Dijo/What My Grandmother Told Me: Practical Wisdom from Spanish Proverbs and Sayings.
Ms. Weir, a Filipina who spent her young formative years with her abuelita (grandmother) in Malate in old Manila, learned that her abuelita’s oft-quoted proverbs, with their unique blend of sound and sense, were lessons of lasting value.
After culling through her own memory as well as over a thousand Spanish proverbs, the author has come up with a delightful collection of 109 folk sayings that offer age-old wisdom on such topics as childhood, friendship, work, love, and destiny. Short English versions accompany each proverb, with great care taken to preserve the spirit and cadence of the original Spanish.
Mahala Urra’s enchanting illustrations illuminate the beauty and power of the proverbs. Two poignant memoir essays by the author serve as elegant bookends to frame the collection, which ends with the proverb “En tus apures y afanes acude a los refranes” (When needs and difficulties arise, take refuge in the proverbs).
Lo Que Mi Abuela Me Dijo may be used as a reader-friendly reference book for students of Spanish, as well as a charming gift book for readers of all ages who, more so today than in yesteryears, want a recipe for the wisely lived life.