I’m going to share a state secret with you: speaking with strangers on the phone is way up there on the list of Things That Terrify Me, somewhere in between “nuclear Holocaust” and “bank statements.”
(The distance between those two items on the list is shorter than you might imagine.)
But I believe in doing things that terrify me every so often, and that is why I reached out to Linda Jiménez of Radio Sefarad’s English Corner to ask if she’d be interested in interviewing me for the podcast. To my astonishment, she responded that she is familiar with my writing, since she subscribes to The Forward, and by the way, why am I so anti-Spanish?
So for the record, I am not anti-Spanish! I mean, there’s a reason most of By Light of Hidden Candles is set in Spain, and that my favorite character from the book was born and raised there. (“Some of my best imaginary friends are Spanish!” 😛 ) I feel an inexplicable connection to the place. I find the history fascinating, I love the landscape, I love the music, I love certain aspects of the culture, and I’m head-over-heels in love with the language. (Like, so in love, I’ve written poetry in it.)
But yes, there are things about it that I do not love, and I have been vocal, and sometimes snarky, about them. For example, the postal service. Also, antisemitism. And Franco’s legacy. And the Catalan independence thing. (My loyalty to Catalonia is entirely Josep’s fault. Blame him.)
Anyway, after we sorted that out, Linda said that Letters to Josep looked interesting, so I sent her a copy. She enjoyed it and decided to go ahead with the interview. It went live yesterday, and you can listen to it on Radio Sefarad’s website here.
Many thanks to Linda for putting up with me!
Oh, and by the way, I’m going to be in Denver next month visiting family, and various Powers that Be are trying to put together some sort of Thing for me while I’m there. Not entirely clear yet what this Thing will be, what it will be about, or when and where it’ll take place. But if you’re in the area and would like to influence that decision, feel free to be in touch! I’ll let you know more details soon.
Also, you may recall that I announced a re-release of Letters to Josep in January. The re-release has been postponed due
entirely to Don’s fault to some unforeseen delays. We made this decision together because we want to make sure the new edition is as good as it can be and that Kasva Press gives it the full benefit of their added value as a publisher, and we’ll need more time for that. I’ll keep you posted on that as well!