New School for Social Research;
New York University
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
'Say Her Name' was a book I never wanted to write and never expected to write. I wasn't trying to do anything except write a book for Aura – a book that I thought I had to write.
The U.S., like any other country, allows tourists into its borders in order to make money off them, and there's nothing wrong with that. Why give out tourist visas if you're not going to let tourists be tourists?
I think the fact that my wife died in Mexico City makes it very important to me; my life went up in smoke at that moment, the family and the future we were going to have. At that point, I was anchored to the city in a way I've never been anchored to a place before.
What's important about me is that I really have, in ways I never could have foreseen when I was young, a writing career that's reached a lot of different places.
You witness a lot as a journalist, and what you witness becomes a part of you.
I had one of those farcical bar mitzvahs where they spell out the words phonetically on index cards, and you don't even know what you're saying.
When I see a blatant injustice, I can't keep quiet. I've been that way since I was a little kid.
I identify myself as what I am. I'm half Jewish, like Proust. I have no other way to put it.
In U.S. discourse, immigrants are mostly represented as less than human, a policy problem, or as just that, a category, and categories are prisons.
I have never liked the memoir form because I tend to think that memory fictionalizes anyway. Once you claim that you are writing a narrative purely from memory, you are already in the realm of fiction.
My earliest memories of going to Fenway with my father are a blur: many games, me too young to care, but aware that our team 'stunk.' In those years, the 1960s, the Red Sox baseball card I always coveted most was not Carl Yastrzemski's but the far more ordinary Felix Mantilla's.