Lamar Herrin Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Lamar Herrin

Lamar Herrin

How to pronounce Lamar Herrin: luh-MAR

An interview with Lamar Herrin

Lamar Herrin explains his motivation for writing House of the Deaf, about one man's quest to find answers to explain his daughter's murder at the hands of terrorists.

When I was director of Cornell University's Study Abroad program in Spain, I did my jogging around the Parque Santander. A number of my students did, too. Three or four years later, an American man running around that same park was killed when a car bomb, planted by the Basque nationalist organization ETA, went off before a Civil Guard headquarters. I couldn't help but ask myself: What if that American had been one of my students? How would I answer to the parents of such a student should they present themselves before me?

In spite of Basque pressures for independence, in spite of ETA, Spain remains a charming country, with a ceremonial sense of itself that brings the Old World up to date and takes history out of the museums and puts it squarely in the streets. Then a bomb goes off and all that history gets ripped apart.

Spain has its dark side (Goya painted his dark paintings in a house called "House of the Deaf Man"), and the darker Spain gets the more powerful its pull might be felt to become. As a novelist, I wanted to see what might happen to a revenge-minded American, whose daughter has been killed, and to a second daughter who sets out to rescue him. The staging of House of the Deaf is the Spain of the Basques, but the urge to strike out against the ethos of violence that characterizes the times is, sadly, something all of us can relate to, and that deepening spiral of violence is what I want to depict here.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Inland
    Inland
    by TĂ©a Obreht
    It's 1893 and the sparsely populated settlement of Amargo, deep in the Arizona Territory, is ...
  • Book Jacket
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Conviction
    Conviction
    by Denise Mina
    Scottish author Denise Mina's latest novel, Conviction, is a fast-paced thriller narrated by Anna, a...
  • Book Jacket
    Dread Nation
    by Justina Ireland
    The war between the states is over and, instead, a very different battle is being waged for the ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Ellie and the Harpmaker
    by Hazel Prior

    A rich, heartwarming and charming debut novel about finding love in unexpected places.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
America for Beginners
by Leah Franqui

A poignant debut that explores unlikely friendships forged in unusual circumstances.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win Crudo

Crudo by Olivia Laing

A brilliant, funny, and emphatically raw novel of love on the brink of the apocalypse.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

S A A B In A R

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.