Friday, September 5, 2008

Author Q & A with Dalia Sofer

Back in July I participated in the online book club discussion for The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer over at Everday I Write the Book Blog. I loved the book and was very excited when Gayle posted that she was doing a Q & A with Dalia and asked for reader questions.

Well, she selected a couple of my questions and here is and excerpt of what Dalia had to say. There is a spoiler in the last line of the first question if you haven't read the book.

Q. Shirin's narration was especially compelling and I couldn't help wondering how much of what we saw through her eyes was very closely based on your experiences. I'm dying to know if you actually stole and hid files.

A: Alas, Shirin’s sections are largely imagined—I did not steal any files! But that state of bewilderment and confusion is one that I remember very well. And the passage about absence being very close to death came from a sensation I developed at that time.

Q. Sofer means writer in Hebrew - is this a pen name or a family name you grew into?

A: Sofer is my actual surname. My father is originally from Iraq (and the story goes that my ancestors were biblical scribes!)

I also asked a few more (the one about her writing rituals and adjustment to life in Israel and the US after she and her family fled Iran), but you'll have to read Gayle's post here for the full interview.

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