Sarah Bird is the author of several novels, including The Yokota Officers Club, Virgin of the Rodeo, The Mommy Club, The Boyfriend School, Alamo House, The Flamenco Academy and How Perfect Is That. She is a columnist for the Texas Monthly and has written for The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, O Magazine, Glamour, and Mademoiselle, among other publications. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, George, and son, Gabriel.
This biography was last updated on 08/18/2011.
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A Conversation with Sarah Bird, author of the novel The Flamenco Academy
How did you decide to take on the subject of Flamenco for a novel?
The one subject that I always knew I wanted to write about was an obsessive love affair I had that began when I was 16 and fell in love at first sight with a deliriously handsome young man and remained so until I was 23. For years I tried to capture this experience on paper, but it always came out as a suburban melodrama.
When I was 20 and living with Beloved, I walked in on him in bed with a friend. Realizing that I had to put at least an ocean between us or I would never break free, I went to Europe. So, dazed and heartbroken, I hitchhiked and Eurailed for a year and a half. During that time I found a job as a tour guide in a botanical garden owned by White Russian émigrés on Spains Costa Brava. One very late night, very early morning, in a tiny club outside of Barcelona, I saw an astonishing performance of what I would learn later was flamenco.
Flamenco was the first materialization Id witnessed that mirrored my tumultuous inner landscape. Decades later, as I was struggling to make a novel convey the experience of obsessive love, I ...
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