Born in Paris, Lily Tuck is the author of Interviewing Matisse or The Woman Who Died Standing Up (1991); The Woman Who Walked on Water (1996); Siam or the Woman Who Shot a Man: A Novel (1999); The News From Paraguay (2004), winner of the 2004 National Book Award; and I Married You For Happiness (2011). She is also the author of a book of short stories entitled Limbo, or Other Places I Have Lived (2002) and a biography, Woman of Rome: A Life of Elsa Morante (2002). Her short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Fiction, and the Antioch Review. She divides her time between Maine and New York City and has lived in Thailand, Uruguay and Peru.
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Lily Tuck talks about her book, The News From Paraguay
You've never been to Paraguay but you spent your childhood in Peru and
Uruguay and you spoke three different languages by the time you were ten years
old. Can you talk about the effect South America had on you? Has living in other
countries given you a perspective that perhaps staying in one place for a
lifetime, which many great writers do, would not have given you?
My childhood, although not unhappy, was a solitary one. I was an only child and my parents had to move a lot - first from Germany, then France, then South America - to escape the war and persecution. This also meant that I had to change schools several times and learn different languages. The result of this, I think, is that I had to rely on my imagination for company and entertainment. It also forced me to read a lot.
I was very young when I lived in South America so my memories are quite vague and mostly associated with family events. However, I do remember the lushness and the bright colors in our garden - the color red especially stays in my head.
I feel certain that living in other countries has given me a different perspective as a writer. It has heightened my sense of dislocation and ...
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