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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Short Interview with Author Ivonne Lamazares

In 2000 Houghton Mifflin published Ivonne Lamazares' first novel The Sugar Island. In addition to various published articles, she has also published her stories in Blue Mesa Review and A Century of Cuban Writers in Florida. In 2009 The Southern Review published her newest short story "Hostal Jamil."

As I continue my Featured Writers Series, Ivonne was kind enough to agree to a short interview.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My favorite novelists are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison. My favorite short story writers are Alice Munro, Flannery O'Connor, Denis Johnson, Ray Carver. These are authors that I enjoy greatly as a reader, and also they are authors that I study as a writer because I greatly admire their work and use it as a springboard and a source of inspiration for my own stories.

What are you currently reading?

I am re-reading Beloved by Toni Morrison and I'm in awe of what she was able to do in that novel. It's a heart-wrenching novel. Slavery seems such a huge subject, and yet she found a way to approach it that does it justice.

How would you define your writing style?

This is a hard question to answer. I would say that my writing style tends to be spare, more on the side of Ray Carver and Hemingway than on the side of Faulkner or other more elaborate stylists. I aspire to writing simply, clearly, and precisely, to evoke emotions that the reader can identify as true and authentic to the situation and the character being portrayed.

What 3 recommendations would you provide to an aspiring author?

My three recommendations to an aspiring writer would be

(1) write, write, write

(2) read, read, read

(3) nurture your gift, believe in it, and as Hemingway said, aspire to write "one true sentence after another." (True in the emotional/ moral sense, not necessarily the factual sense).


  1. Ooooh this is GREAT!! I find this line really useful, more than any other writing advice I've received. "aspire to write "one true sentence after another." (True in the emotional/ moral sense, not necessarily the factual sense." I also agree with write write write. Just write. Thank you Mar for sharing this. Will stumble and review it. Wonderful. Hugs, to you.

  2. I love to read writer's interview. There is always a word or phrase that I can related to; and I am always inspired to keep writing. Thank you for doing the interviews and sharing them with us. Lyn


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