Friday, October 03, 2008

Anita Shreve in Zurich

Last night, in the spirit of actually going out to one of those rare English language events in Zurich, I went to see the American author Anita Shreve read from her newest book, Testimony.

The book is about a sexual assualt that gets caught on tape and the consequences to all the lives involved as this gets revealed to the public. She wrote it from various viewpoints--from the young victim to the mother of one of the boys who did the assalting. She read a bit from each voice and it was interesting to watch how her demeanor changed as she switched from the rambling mother to the young girl.

After she read, she answered various questions. As was expected, the most complimentary questions came from the Americans while one Swiss woman told her she didn't like the way she wrote the voice of the girl. Ah, always the good critics, these Swiss.

Most interesting to me were her thoughts about writing. She writes from 7-12 almost every day and is able to write about so many various topics by simply imagining being all of her different characters. When she's not writing, she's reading.

Previous books I've read of hers included The Pilot's Wife and Where or When. I plan to start reading Shreve's A Wedding in December after I finish Liza Monroy's debut novel Mexican High.

For all those in Switzerland, the next English language reading coming up is from David Sedaris, one of my favorite writers. He'll be reading from his newest collection of essays "When You are Engulfed in Flames" on November 17. For tickets, visit the Orell Füssli website.


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