The award-winning writer Luisa Valenzuela will be giving the 2019 Flash Fiction flash master class in English and Spanish. Get to know this magnificent Argentine author in this exclusive interview with Under the Volcano.
What books are you currently reading?
I just finished the latest books by two Argentine writers I admire, Cristina Siscar and Esther Cross. They have nothing in common, yet both their novels, which are structured like short story collections, El río invisible and Tres hermanos, seem to be on a similar wave length despite their differences.
What books do you return to over time? Why?
Books of contemporary philosophy and anthropology, because I like to explore those fields in order to understand, even from the sidelines, the atrocious post-truth, post-legal reality that is ensnaring us in its damaging tricks.
Which three writers, dead or alive, would you like to have coffee or drinks with? Why?
Tea with Proust to absorb the secret of his madeleine of memory. Coffee with Alessandro Baricco because he is an astonishing character and I would want to be wide awake. Drinks with Samuel Beckett to see if he would open up and display his fascinating, dark sense of humor. And if I had to choose only one, Julio Cortázar, who contains them all.
Do you have a secondary passion or talent apart from writing that might surprise people to know about?
Passion: masks and everything to do with them, but by this point that’s hardly a secret to anyone.
Talents: none, though I would love to be clairvoyant, read the tarot and prepare talismans and magic potions.
If you could offer three tips to writers what would they be?
1. Read everything and read a lot.
2. Respect the flights of language.
3. Never blindly follow advice, including mine.
What were the highlights for you about your experience at Under the Volcano?
The shared creativity in every sense of the word and at every moment, not only with my own workshop group, although my group provided delightful experiences of mutual understanding and encouragement.