The Writing University conducts is a series of interviews (the "5Q Interviews": five questions to all) with writers while they are in Iowa City participating in the International Writing Program's fall residency. We sit down with authors to ask about their work, their process and their descriptions of home.
Today we are talking with Yaara Shehori, fiction writer, poet and editor from Israel.
1. Do you have a plan or project in mind for your time at the residency?
In the last year I have written several openings to several potential novels, and I hope that during my stay in Iowa one of them will come alive , and will have a continuance and even an ending. For me it's like a horse race, but in this point in time, I cannot say which horse will come first.
2. What does your daily practice look like for your writing? Do you have a certain time when you write? Any specific routine?
I write mostly during the morning, before I start my work as a book editor. I don’t need a specific desk or a specific pen or laptop, but I prefer an environment of "white noise". I like to feel life happening around me, even if it is just a café.
3. What are you currently reading right now? Are you reading for research or pleasure?
There is a fine line between research and pleasure in this sort of work, don’t you agree? I prefer to read what is known as the "second reading" when you are aware of the plot and no longer fear the fate of the characters. These days I'm rereading the memoir "speak memory" by Vladimir Nabokov and the novel "Arabesques" by the Palestinian author Anton Shammas that was written in Hebrew during his stay in Iowa.
4. Tell us a bit about where you are from -- what are some favorite details you would like to share about your home?
I started as a poet and after I published my first poetry book, I discover that my true home is prose. But I think that a part of the rhythm stayed in my novels. In my writing, childhood and childhood memories play a big part. Not as a heavenly era, but as a time of wonder and disaster, mostly at the same time. There is something there that I still have to solve, as if childhood itself is a detective story, even if the crime is a bit obscure.
Thank you so much, Yaara!
This Friday, September 22nd, Yaara Shehori will be reading at the Shambaugh House at 5pm. Join us!