Monday, December 18, 2006

Interview with Laura Restrepo

I had never conducted an interview via e-mail before my conversation with the Colombian author Laura Restrepo; therefore, I wasn't prepared to get answers that had the quality of polished writing. Because Restrepo's answers are lengthy and rich in anecdote, I missed not being able to interject whenever she wrote about a subject that I wanted to know more about. That's perhaps the main reason why the resulting interview reads, I think, like a memoir—an evocative recreating of Restrepo's fascinating life. What I hope also comes across in Restrepo's responses is that she has been creating, slowly and deliberately, a remarkably consistent body of work that reflects her singular preoccupations with politics and history. Although relatively unknown in the United States, she will be better known and appreciated as more of her books begin to appear, and the magnitude of what she has achieved becomes clear to all. It is Restrepo's ferocity of vision, her love of language, of storytelling and of innovation, that have made her one of the most accomplished writers to emerge from Latin America since the glorious and distant days of the "boom."
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