does the word "story"
mean to you?
word changes its meaning according to the language one speaks. Since
I am fluent in several languages and I write in two, I am
particularly sensitive to these kinds of changes. Although the
dictionary tells you that "story" (Engl.), "nouvelle" (Fr.), "récit" (Fr.) and "poveste" or "povestire" (Romanian)
are the same thing, they mean slightly different things for those who
speak these languages. The French differentiate between "nouvelle"
and "récit": the first is more developed, more complex than the
second (though a "nouvelle" is not necessarily the equivalent of
a "novella" either). The Romanian "poveste" harks back to
the oral tradition of storytelling, as the word means both "story"
and "tale." In each language, the word carries with it a
specific history and an implicit vision of what a good story is.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
the "reader" is me. I think a true writer writes for himself (or
herself), but with the hope that someone else out there will read
these stories and identify with the one who wrote them.
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?
In what way is my book different from other books they’ve read?
And: Which of the things in my book seem autobiographical to them?
TSR: How does
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
feels both exhilarating and disturbing to know that a total stranger
with my book and knows
me in a way that I’ll never know them. I sometimes feel very close
to the writers I read and admire, so I wonder if anyone may feel like
that about me.
What are you working on now?
am working on a novel tentatively called Longing
for the Promised Land.
It is a novel about immigrants that mixes fiction and
(auto)biography, namely, the story of my family who emigrated from
the Ukraine to China and from there to America, the "true"
stories of several writers who emigrated to California, and the
fictional story of several friends who left communist Romania for the
Promised Land. But the "Promised Land" is also a metaphor… I
won’t say for what. I already said too much.