Fowles Center Literary Series – Isabel Allende

Fowles Center Literary Series – Isabel Allende


I was asked to read for a few
minutes from one of my books. So, my new book is
about a young girl called Amanda who,
with other kids, are investigating some
crimes in San Francisco. This is the first chapter. “They referred to
the first murder the case of the
misplaced baseball bat, so as not to insult
to the victim by giving it a
more explicit name. There were five teenagers
and an elderly man who met up online to play a
role playing game called Ripper. On the morning of October
13, the fourth grade students of Golden Hill School
raced into the gym to whistle blasts from
their coach in the doorway Normally, they would run two
laps around the basketball court to warm up,
but this morning they came to a shuddering halt,
shocked by the grizzly site of a man sprawled
across a vaulting horse, his pants pulled
around his ankles, is buttocks bared, and
the handle of a baseball bat inserted into his rectum. The stunned children stood
motionless around the corpse, until year one
nine-year-old boy bent down and ran his finger through
the dark stain on the floor, and realized that it was not
chocolate but congealed blood. A second boy picked up
a spent bullet cartridge and slipped it into
his pocket, intending to swap it during recess
for a porn magazine, while a girl filmed the
scene on her cellphone. Just then, the coach bounded
over to the group of students and, seeing the
strange spectacle, suffered a panic attack. The fourth graders
raised the alarm, and other teachers
quickly appeared and dragged the children and the
hysterical coach from the gym. The teachers removed
the baseball bat, and as they laid the
corpse out on the floor they noticed a bullet
hole in the center of the victim’s forehead. They covered the body
with a pair of sweatpants, closed the door, and
waited for the police to arrive, who arrived precisely
19 minutes later, by which time the crime scene had been so
completely contaminated that it was impossible to tell
what the hell had happened. A little later, during the
first press conference, Deputy Chief Bob
Martin announced that the victim
had been identified as one Ed Statton, 49 years
old, a school security. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]
baseball bat, a prurient Thai blood
journalist yelled. Furious to discover that
information about the case had been leaked, which was not
only humiliated to Ed Statton but possibly damaging to the
reputation of the school, the deputy chief snapped
that such details would be documented during the autopsy. What about the suspects? The security guard, was he gay? Bob Martin ignored the
barrage of questions and brought the press
conference to a close. At the second press
conference, the deputy chief of the Personal Crimes
Division explained that the guard was not
due to finish his night shift until 6:00
AM but he had left the school around midnight,
returning later only to find death lying in wait. Bob Martin’s
daughter, Amanda, who was watching the press
conference on TV, phoned her father
to correct him. It was not death
that had been lying in wait for Ed Statton,
but an assassin. For the Ripper players,
this first murder was the start of what would
become a dangerous obsession. The questions they were faced
with where those that also puzzled the police. Why had the guard not
tried to defend himself before being shot
through the head? What was the significance of
a baseball bat being inserted into such an intimate orifice? Perhaps, Ed Statton
had deserved his fate, but the kids who
played Ripper were not interested in moral issues. They focused strictly
on the facts. Up to this point,
the game of Ripper had revolved around fictional
19th century crimes that took place in a
fog-shrouded London, but when the players agreed
to Amanda Martin’s suggestion that they investigate murders
in present day San Francisco, another city shrouded
in fog, the game took on a more realistic dimension. Celeste Rocco, the
famous astrologer, had predicted a
bloodbath in the city, and Amanda Martin had decided
to take this unique opportunity to put the art of
divination to the test. One thing is to predict
that the week is propitious to traveling,
and something else to announce a blood bath. This doesn’t happen
often in San Francisco. To do so, Amanda enlisted the
help of other Ripper players and her best friend,
Blake Jackson, who was, coincidentally, her
grandfather, little suspecting that the game
would turn violent, and her own mother would
be among the victims. The kids who played
Ripper were a select group of freaks and geeks
from around the world who had first met
up online to hunt down the mysterious
Jack the Ripper. Amanda’s role was
to oversee the game and make sure players
respected the rules, but given the
impending bloodbath she allowed herself to
bend the rules a little. She moved the action of
the game from London, 1888, to San Francisco, 2012. Furthermore, in
breach of the rules, she create it for
herself a henchman Kabel, a dim-witted but loyal
hunchback she entrusted with obeying her every whim. It didn’t escape her
grandfather’s notice that the henchman’s man’s name
was an anagram of his own. At 64, Blake Jackson, a
pharmacist by profession, was much too old for
children’s games. ‘My dad thinks that Ed Statton’s
murder was some sort of gay revenge killing,’ Amanda
told her grandfather. ‘What is he basing that theory
on?’ ‘On the baseball bat shoved you know where,’ Amanda
said, blushing to the roots. ‘Let’s not jump to
conclusions, Amanda, there’s still a lot we don’t
know.’ ‘Exactly, Kabel, but if the murder
was premeditated, why didn’t the guy kill
Statton before he drove off? He couldn’t have known Statton
intended to come back,’ said Amanda. ‘Maybe it wasn’t
premeditated, Amanda. Maybe someone sneaked into
the school intending to rob the place and Statton
caught him in the act.’ ‘Dad says that in all the
years he’s worked in homicide, he’s seen murderers who panicked
and lashed out violently, but he’d never come across one
who hang around and took time to cruelly humiliate the
victim.’ ‘What other pearls of wisdom did Bob come up
with?’ asked the grandfather. ‘You know what Dad’s like. I have to surgically extract
every crumb of information from him. He doesn’t think that murder
is an appropriate subject for a girl my age.’ ‘He’s got a point, Amanda. This whole thing is a bit
sordid.’ ‘It’s public domain. It was on TV, and if you
think you can handle it, there’s a video on the internet
some little girl short on her cellphone,’ replied Amanda. ‘Geeze, that’s cold blooded. Kids these days are so used to
violence that nothing scares them,’ Blake Jackson
trailed off with a sigh. ‘Now, back in my day–‘ ‘This is your day,’
interrupted Amanda. ‘It really bugs me when
you talk like an old man. So, have you checked out the
autopsy Kabel?’ ‘I’ve got work to do, Amanda. I can’t just leave the drugstore
unattended, it’s flu season. But, I’ll get to it as soon
as I can.’ ‘Well, hurry up, or I might find myself
a new henchman.’ ‘You can try. I would like to see anyone else
who’s prepared to put up with you,’ replied Blake. ‘You love me gramps?’ ‘No.’
‘Me neither,’ Amanda said, and flung her arms
around his neck.” Thank you. [APPLAUSE] There are some questions that
a students had– what’s that? Yeah, OK, I’ve got
some here to start, and then you can bring them up. But, I’ve got some
questions that were submitted to me last
week from some students, so I thought we’d
start with those and then we can
get to the others. “I know there are a
lot of creative writing students in the
audience, so perhaps you can talk briefly about how
you began your writing career and your own writing career.” Well, I began writing
as a second choice. My first choice would have
been to be a chorus girl but my legs were too short. I have good legs, but short, and
I became a journalist, first. Then, in 1973, we had a
military coups in Chile. I had to leave my
country, and I couldn’t find a job as a journalist. And for years, in
Venezuela, all these stories were boiling inside me. The memories from my
country, my crazy family, everything, and so when
I– on January 8th, 1981, we got a letter that my
grandfather was dying in Chile– a phone
call, actually, and I started a letter
for him that became The House of the Spirits. So, it happened
almost by chance. And the fact that the
book was successful paved the way for
all the other books. So, that was very lucky. So, I imagine everyone here
is knowledgeable of your books but I don’t know
if everyone here is knowledgeable
of your foundation. And, so, could you talk about
the origins of the foundation, its scope and objectives? Well, in 1992 my
daughter, Paula, died. She was 28 years old. She died of a rare
condition, and I wrote a book called
Paula, a memoir, that helped me go through the
first year of grieving that was pretty bad. And writing that book, I
could understand what happened and accept it. But I didn’t want to touch
any of the money that came from that book. I didn’t want to benefit
personally from such a tragedy. So, I put all that aside,
thinking, what can I do with this that
would be something that Paula would like? And, eventually, I
came up with the idea of creating a foundation for
empowerment of women and girls. And at the beginning
it was sort of messy, because I don’t know
anything about that. I mean, I don’t know how
to handle a foundation. I don’t know anything
about the IRS that is always
watching like hawks, and so I was just making checks. But then, my son,
Nicolas, and his wife divorced, and my son
wasn’t dating anybody for a couple of years. So, I did what any Latin mother
would do, look for a bride. I was looking for someone
that could handle Nicolas and the three children, and, if
possible, also my foundation. So, I came across
Lori Barra, who has the big heart
to handle Nicolas, and the brain to
organize the foundation. And under her management it
has been really successful, because she evaluates
the programs and she’s very careful
about where the money goes. So, we support projects
that already exist– we don’t invent anything–
to empower women and girls in the areas of education,
health, and protection. Of course, reproductive
rights is part of health. So, we do that, and it’s really
rewarding because whatever little money you
invest it’s multiplied. You know that for every $20 that
philanthropy spends in programs for men, $1 is given
to programs for women, although it has been
proven beyond any doubt that the money that
you invest in a woman raises the whole family, and
eventually the community. So, the only way that
you can change the world is by empowering
women, and still you give the money to man who buy
bicycles with it, or watches, or whatever. [APPLAUSE] From House of the
Spirits to Paula you have written in a
wide range of genres, but with Ripper, an
atmospheric, fast-paced mystery, you’ve gone in a completely
different direction. So, besides baseball
bats, what prompted you to go in that direction? I don’t know much
about baseball, and actually, if
I think about it, it would be hard to introduce
a baseball bat in that place. The whole thing started
because I announced that I was going to
retire, and my agent panicked because I support
the agency, basically. So, she said, no, no, you have
to write a book with Willie. My husband, who was
a lawyer, retired, and decided to become a writer? Can you imagine? Compete with me? I said, well, when I retire
I will start practicing law. And he started
writing mysteries. Actually, he has written six
mysteries, to my surprise. And so when the agents
said this I thought, well, I have written
so many genres that I can
accommodate to Willie, and let’s write a crime novel. And we started talking about it. I start all my books
on January 8th. So, on January 8th
we were supposed to start working together. He was watching TV, and then
he was reading the newspaper, and then he was
walking the dogs. Willie has a span of
attention of 11 minutes, and I work 10 hours
a day, I research. And the other thing is
that he writes in English and I write in Spanish, so
it was never going to work. So, I ended up writing the
book alone, and it was fun. It was really fun. I loved it. So, is the book out now? It will be out in January,
in several languages. It will come out in Spanish
and English simultaneously. A student writes, “Who
is the first strong woman you came across
in your life that inspired you to write
such strong characters in your novels?” I’m surrounded by strong women. I really don’t know
anyone woman who is weak. Maybe they are in
some TV series, but I have never seen them. And I grew up in the
’40s and ’50s in Chile. It’s a very Catholic,
socially conservative society and, at that time,
very patriarchal. It still is, but at the
time it was much worse. We lived with my grandfather,
who was the great patriarch, and I saw that my
mother, who was the only female in the
house– she and I– didn’t have any
of the privileges if the men, of the
freedom of the men, of the income of the men. She always lived with crumbs. And she had no education to
work, she had three children, she had been abandoned
by her husband. I didn’t want my mother’s life. I wanted to be like
my grandfather. I wanted to be like The
Godfather, if possible. So, the struggle to empower
myself and to protect my mother started when I was really young. I had never heard
the word feminism, but I was already
thinking like that. And nobody knew what the
heck was wrong with me. I was never going
to catch a husband if I was talking like that. But then feminism
caught up with me, because the wave of
women’s liberation came to Chile when
I was in my 20s, and then I realized
that I was not alone. That was great. The film adaptation of
House of the Spirits basically eliminated much of
the novel’s magical realism. The students want
to know if you’d like to see a remake of it
now that film technology has advanced to the point where
that magical realism could be more easily depicted. I had never thought
about that, but I remember that when
the movie was made, it was made by Bille
August, a Danish director that I respect very much. And the exteriors were filmed
in Portugal, and the interiors in a studio in
Denmark, in Copenhagen. And they invited
Willie and I for a week to see part of the filming. And one of the many things
that we talked about was magic realism,
because he said that he was fascinated
with it in the book, but it doesn’t
work on the screen because it’s, like, funny. In a book you can say that
the glass moved, or whatever, and then when you
see it on the screen it’s sort of
unbelievable and stupid. And I have one character in
the book that has green hair, and Bille August
said, the reader can imagine green hair
in any shade of green. It could be copper green or
it will be emerald green, but I have to put a
green wig on the actress, and it will always
be a green wig. So, there are certain things
that work in literature and don’t work in the
movies, and vice versa. So, you don’t want
to see a remake. It’s none of my
business, really, because they’ve made all kinds
of stuff with more stories I don’t have any control. Recently, there was an
operator here in Los Angeles with Placido Domingo,
who directed it, based on one of my stories. And I want to see it, and
I was delighted to see what they can do
with something that is so flat in a piece of paper. They can create
this whole thing. So, it’s wonderful to see that
other creators are inspired, but that doesn’t belong to me. “What moves your soul,
as a human being?” A simple question. What moves my soul? Anger. Anger at injustice, and
disparity, and abuse, and exploitation. At the situation of women and
children, war– that boiling anger that I feel
at how the world is, and the desire to
change it, that I have had all my life, that
sort of fuels me forward. And thank God I’ve
been able to channel that anger in the
foundation and my writing. Otherwise, I would have
killed somebody already, or many people, maybe. “What motivated you to write the
story The Wife of the Judge?” What story was that? I don’t remember the story. Am I off? Yeah, this thing is screwed up. So, let’s share it. All right, we’re
going to do that. [APPLAUSE] OK, the question is, “How
has your own connection to Chilean history
imparted– I guess it’s imparted– your writing?” I can’t read it very well. Well– Very intimate. Very intimate. Let me take this thing out. Oh, here it is, I’ve got it. I hope this is on film. OK, I got it. Well, first of
all, the connection to the recent history
is the military coup that changed my life and
the life of my family. So, I ended up living
as a political refugee, and that, I think,
was what triggered The House of the Spirits,
the crazy attempt to recover everything I had
lost– my country, my family, my job, everything. So, that has been a huge
source of inspiration for me. And then it’s the past, our past
history, that is fascinating. Chile is what we call in
Spanish, [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. It’s where the world ends,
the asshole of the world. And so this Spaniards went
looking for gold and silver to Peru, to Mexico,
to other places. Not to Chile, because Chile
was impossible to get there. It was separated
from the continent by this incredible
desert, Atacama, that is the driest desert in
the world, and the mountains. So, to get there was very hard. Then the Indians were very–
they were great warriors, and there was no gold or silver. So, what was the
point except glory? And that has always
fascinated me, because it’s the seed of
the Chilean character. And I wrote a book
called Ines of My Soul that is the conquest of Chile. And I was always
fascinated by our history. Very different from the history
of the rest of Latin America. “What advice would you
give to aspiring writers?” I get this question
all the time. Everybody that I know
is writing a book. 19-year-olds are
writing their memoirs. I would tell them that this
is like training for sports. When you train for
sports, you train every day to create the
muscle, and then maybe you can play the game. Writing is the same. You won’t sit down and write
the great American novel in one sitting. Have to write
constantly, every day. It’s like falling
in love, that you’ll find the place and the time
to make love no matter what. The same for the writing. There are no excuses. I keep telling
this to my husband. And that’s why he needs
an epidural, by the way. “I would like to hear, again,
your encounter with Pablo Neruda when you were
planning to interview him.” That was in 1973, the same
year of the military coup. Pablo Neruda was
already– he had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was living in the beach
in a place called Isla Negra, and it was winter in Chile
because it was August. We have our winter in August. And he called the
publishing house where I was working,
in a magazine, and he said he wanted
me to go visit him, and I thought he wanted
to be interviewed by me. So I thought, oh my God, I
must be the best journalist in this country if
Pablo Neruda wants me to come all the way to
his house to interview him. I had a little car, and
so I got my tape recorder and went, like, two hours, in
the rain, to interview him. He had been ill, and that
day he was feeling better. So, we had lunch, and we
had a bottle of white wine. He she showed me
his collections. He had a beautiful house. If you ever go to Chile, try
to see Pablo Neruda’s houses because it’s really
quite an adventure. And by the end of the lunch
I said, OK, Don Pablo, I have to drive back,
and it’s a long way, so maybe we should
do the interview. He said, what interview? And I said, well, the interview. And he said, I would never
be interviewed by you. You are the worst
journalist in this country. You lie all the time. I’m sure that if you don’t
have a story, you make it up. Why don’t you switch
to literature, where all these defects are virtues? So, that was– unfortunately,
a month later he was dead. We had the military coup, and
11 days after the military coup he died. And now it’s questioned in Chile
if he died of natural cause or if he was poisoned,
because they were eliminating, in Chile, anybody who
could, in any way, represent the left in Chile,
and he was a communist. I guess this refers
to your latest novel. “What made you write about death
and gruesome topics, as opposed to what you’ve
written in the past?” Well, I like to try new things,
and murder is fascinating. Everybody likes that,
have you noticed? Everybody loves it. If you talk about murder, or
blood, or anything gruesome, people love it, just love it. Some of these
questions are the same. “When did you know
you wanted to write?” I always knew that
I loved stories. I was a storyteller
when I was– when I learned to speak I was
already telling stories, and I love to read. I love stories,
but I never thought I could be a writer because
there were no models. The writers were men, and
the few female writers I had heard of were
some British spinsters who had committed suicide. So, I didn’t imagine
that I could be a writer. Also, it sounded
sort of arrogant. So, when I wrote The
House of the Spirits, and then I wrote Of Love and
Shadows, and then Eva Luna, and still when I had to fill a
form I didn’t dare say writer. I would write journalist,
because it felt weird, like writer was too much. Now, I realize, that
it’s not too much. Usually too little, you
have to have another job. Well, Betty wants to
know what motivated you to write the book
The Night of the Spirits. The what? The Night of the Spirits. Is this a book you’ve forgotten? No, no, maybe she’s referring
to The House of the Spirits. As I said before, I had left
my country years before, and I felt that the
past and the people were blurred, more and more
blurred, like in a fog. I sort of remembered
the stories, but more and more
I was forgetting. And when my
grandfather was dying I started a letter
for him to tell him that I really
remembered everything that he had told
me about his life, and in the attempt to
remember those first stories that he told me the
other stories came back. And suddenly there was this
wave of images and memories, so I didn’t have to
think or plan the book, it was almost automatic writing. In that sense, it’s
the easiest book that I’ve ever written,
because I didn’t know anything about literature. I had never read a review. Actually, nobody reads reviews. Only other critics read reviews. I didn’t know that there
was a mine field called the literary world, that
there were professors that taught books, and dissected
books, and destroyed the books. I knew nothing of that, so
it was a very innocent book in that sense. Thanks for that complement. “What advice would you
give a stalled writer, and how you continue to stay
motivated to write and try new genres?” I suppose that
means, what do you do when you have a writer’s block? I’ve had it once, and
that was after Paula died. I wrote Paula, and then I
went into a sort of– they call it writer’s
block, but it is sort of paralysis of imagination. I would go every day to my
computer and try to write. I had ideas, but I just
could not put them down. It was– I don’t
know what happened, but no matter what I
tried nothing worked, and I knew it wasn’t working. So, that went on,
like, for three years. It was pretty bad. And then, one day,
I remembered that I am a journalist by training, and
if I’m given a subject on time to research, I can write
about almost anything, except politics
probably, and sports. So, I gave myself a subject that
would be as removed from grief, and pain, and loss
as possible, and I wrote a book called
Aphrodite, which is about lust and gluttony,
the only sins that are worth the trouble, really. And I would recommend to
this person who feels stuck, look in another direction. When you think all
the doors are closed, there’s an open
window somewhere. And then you go in a direction
that is completely unexpected, and maybe it’s great. It’s like men. Pardon me? It’s like men. You think that you can only be
with this one, and this is it, and then that fails. Look around. I hope my fiance
didn’t hear that. “So, how old were you when
you decided to be a writer?” As I said before, I didn’t
decide, it happened. But I was 39 years old when I
wrote The House of the Spirits. I was pretty old. So, “What is your favorite book
that you’ve written, and why?” I don’t remember them, so I
don’t have a favorite book. But I know which
one of my books has had the greatest response from
the readers, and that’s Paula. To this day, 20 years later,
I get emails every day from someone that is reading
Paula, somewhere in the world, in some language. [APPLAUSE] This is a thank you. “Thank you so much
for your contribution to the movie Gifts of Grief. Is has helped a lot of people. I had very little to
do with that book. So, thank you for
thanking me, but really, I don’t have any credit there. This is a very
interesting question. “How far do you think that
we, women, are from equality?” It will depend on us. We are going to make the change. Nobody’s going to give
us anything for free. I have been in the
struggle for equality for women, and– not
equality, because who wants to be equal to men? That’s not the point. I wouldn’t know what to do with
that thing that you have there. You know, my
granddaughters say, my, why do you talk about
this thing so much? It’s dated. They are privileged. They were born with education,
with access to health care, in this society
where they don’t even think that there’s a
problem because they’re not in the workplace yet. They have not gone
out into the world, and they have not seen, really,
what happens in this country, also. But what bugs me is that they
don’t see 80% of the women in the rest of the
world, where women still are subject to all kinds
of abuse and exploitation. Where little girls are sold
into premature marriage. Where they suffer
genital mutilation. They are sold into prostitution,
women, into forced labor. In places where women have
acquired certain rights, something happens like the
Taliban, and in 24 hours they lose everything. In a war, most of the victims
are women and children. 8o% of the refugees in the
world are women and children. So, we have a lot to do. And we have achieved a lot, but
there’s still a lot to be done. [APPLAUSE] Someone wrote a
few questions here. The first one is your
favorite author– Me. Your favorite author
other than you, and why. It’s very hard to say
that, because there’s so many authors I
love, and new ones are appearing all the time. The competition is ferocious. But I like the
books– I mean, if I liked another style, or
another kind of books, I would write that,
not the ones I write. So, I am my favorite writer. The first book you read, and how
old were you when you read it. I don’t remember the
first book I read. I suppose they were fairy tales. But I remember the
first book that created a huge impact in me. I was nine, and my stepfather–
I was a very good reader– my stepfather gave me
the works of Shakespeare translated into Spanish,
an [INAUDIBLE] edition. I still have it to this
day, all torn and worn. And I was fascinated
with the stories. I couldn’t quite understand it,
so I would draw the characters, cut them, put a
match in the back, and move them on the table
to get an idea of what was going on, because
it was so confusing and everybody died at the end. So, it was a
fascinating, and that was the moment when I realized
that if you changed one thing you could change the
story completely. One of the characters that
moved in another direction, and the whole story
would be changed. And then, many years later
when I was a teenager– well, beginning my
teenage years, I was 12, 13– we were
living in Lebanon, and girls of the time in Lebanon
didn’t have any social life. You would go from your house,
to the school, and back. That was it. But I could read, and I
had all kinds of books. But my stepfather had
four secret volumes hidden in a locked closet,
so I knew that that was the book I wanted to read. And fortunately, I was
able to open the locks. Because he was a diplomat
he was always going out. Every day there was a cocktail,
or some dinner, or something. So, I would get in
there with a flashlight and read 1,001 Nights. Of course, I couldn’t
mark the book, but I was looking
for the dirty parts. So, I was jumping from
one story to the other and the characters all mixed,
and creating my own stories. And the dirty parts were
all very metaphorical, and I didn’t know
the basics, nothing. I had never seen a
naked man in my life. So, all these poetic
descriptions of what was going on in the
harem, I didn’t get it, but it was still fascinating. Well, you seem to
pick up on that now. “If you had not become a
writer, what would you be?” What would I be? I told you, I don’t have
legs for chorus girl and I’m too old for that. What would I be? I don’t know, probably
any menial job, I suppose. I’m unemployable,
that’s the truth. This is a very long question. “Many people say The House of
the Spirits is your best work, and that the others are
good but not your best–” This is some teacher,
some professor. I’m not going to tell
you who wrote this. “I loved Island Beneath the Sea. Help me understand, is it
your style that changed, the story type that
changed, or could there be another explanation
that explains why your fans might say that? Excuse me. That bugs me. My fans don’t say that. It’s some stupid
professor somewhere that’s asking that question. The truth is, that The
House of the Spirits is a very different
book from the books that I’ve written recently
because the world has changed. Literary styles have changed. I have changed. Few people would have
the patience today to write or to read a book
like The House of the Spirits because it’s too baroque, too
many adjectives, too much stuff in it. Today, the world has changed. Things are much faster,
and young readers are used to
different literature, and people are
writing differently. So, of course, the
style has changed, and I’ve lived in this country
for 26 years, in English. So, English language teaches
you to think in a straight line. We, in Spanish,
think in circles. So we go around, and around,
and around, and finally we’ll get to the point. My husband, who was a
lawyer, 90% of his clientele was Latinos. They were Mexican workers. And he said that he can
tell when a letter comes in Spanish or in English
without opening the envelope, because the letter in
Spanish is heavier. For the same thing, we
require two or three pages. In English, one paragraph. So, I have learned
to get to the point, and to choose a noun to
replace three adjectives. With a good noun, you
don’t need the adjectives. [APPLAUSE]

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