I met Monica Lavin on a trip to Mexico recently with The British Council. A huge star over there she is also a beautiful person. It was a pleasure to do this Q&A with her.
Q&A with bestselling Mexican author Monica Lavin about turtle dung, short stories versus novels, memory and migration
(Here’s just a little snippet…. head over to The Irish Times to read more.)
Why the love for short story writing?
Because I read wonderful stories as a teenager: Chekhov, Bradbury, Hemingway, Cortazar, Borges, Rulfo. Latin American writers’ books were fresh, the writers were alive. That gave another dimension to what I had read before. When I was a child I thought all writers were dead people. Maybe that is one of the reasons I could not picture myself as one, even though I had been writing stories since I was 13 years old. I did not how to become a writer.
Does your writing have anything to do with your scientific background?
I think science and writing have to do with the desire to know. Science deals with objective truth, literature with relative truth. El Quijote taught us that. The short story aesthetic has more to do with mathematical equations – they have to be balanced: nothing extra, nothing missing. I love the silence of the short story.
Why did you started writing novels?
I always felt there was a question behind each short story – what if…? Now I know it is more than that, and what I thought would be a short story commanded several questions. I was dealing with multidimensional characters, several situations. I was in the grounds of the novel, and I plunged in. Now I write both. Short story writing is a way of thinking, so I always write them. I love the risk of both.
Don’t forget to check out the rest…. here.