Jamaica Farewell and the Divided World: Guadalupe Muro’s Interview Questionnaire –10 Questions with the Author of Air Carnation | Book*hug Press

Jamaica Farewell and the Divided World: Guadalupe Muro’s Interview Questionnaire –10 Questions with the Author of Air Carnation

August 1, 2014

As I mentioned in a prior blog post, I will be adding Air Carnation to my bedside books collection.

But attached is a fun questionnaire filled out by Muro, in addition to pictures of her writing spaces in both Chile, as well as in Montreal. Did you know her favourite place to write in is the kitchen? Find out more about her, and some other things she’s been thinking about lately, such as thoughts on music and her next projects.

Also, take a minute to tell us what book(s) you may be passing on to others, or adding to your bedside book collection. Hashtag #BTreading, and share it with us on Twitter at @BookThug.

1. Pop Quiz: Name one other BookThug book you know (not yours). Have you read it? What do you think?

I have a copy of Polyamorous Love Song, by Jacob Wren, and I´m looking forward to reading it!

2. What is the most annoying question that you hate answering during interviews? (We promise never to ask it, ever.)

I haven´t answered that many interview questions, but for me, the most annoying questions are the ‘funny-creative questions’ like, “if you were an animal, what animal would you be?” and “what is your book about?”

3. What were you thinking about/doing just before you received this email? Or what has been on your mind a lot?

Definitely music has been on my mind, a lot! Also, thoughts about how the world is divided between the people that foul things up, and the ones that clean things up, and how fucked up that is.

4. Describe your currently published book(s) with BookThug to us in one sentence.

A book written between places, between poetry and narrative, between English and Spanish, between the first world and the third world, which writing aims to navigate; the mysterious space that we inhabit–only for a moment, and almost without noticing it–when we move from one place to another; and writing that, sets in motion, advances, and is sustained by the internal action of a muscle that contracts in poetry and elongates in narrative.

5. Was there something or someone you cut out from your book that was not published? (A paragraph, killing a character, or a fact that you can share?)

Jamaica Farewell

As a reflex, as an uncontrollable impulse, as the movement her knee made when the doctor hit it with a small hammer. Empty of emotions, but with a feeling of sadness older than her, the same sadness some people seem to carry from a past life, Rita surrenders to the song and cries like a medium speaking the words of mute phantoms.

Pedro sang that song for her, and then she cried. As if she had never did before, surprised by her crying as a little boy he started to cry as infected by a contagious virus he had never cried before for her mother illness. Rita was a medium for his heart.

It was the song his mother sung for him, that last rope that kept her from sinking in Alzheimer. She could not remember the name of his son, she didn´t knew anymore that she had a son, Pedro was no one for his mother, as if he had never been born. Did she know who she was anymore? She was not dead but in sort of way she didn´t exist anymore, she was more real in her son´s mind than in her own body. But each time he visited her at the retired home, she sung that song for him. And he listened to the words as if singing that particular song was the only thing that survived of his mother consciousness, a flower floating against any chance to endure on the surface of a brave sea. She was on her way, her mind was on her way, going away and shining like a dying star, a dead star whose light reaches us with delay. She continued singing, she continued sinking.

  1. 6. Where do you write from? (cities, countries, an office–anything works).

    The kitchen. [See the pictures below of Muro in her kitchen writing space in Chile and in

Processed with Moldiv









7. Tell us something personal about you that your readers may be surprised to know? (Day job? What do you do when you are not writing?)

I was an extra in the Argentinean movie “Wakolda”, by Lucía Puenzo. I was dressed like a girl in the fifties and had a very funny hairstyle and the most horrendous dress, ever. I appear dancing in two scenes, and flirting with a guy in another.

Also, that I enrolled myself in a school to study to be a kindergarten teacher, but I never showed up to the first class.

8. In your opinion, what should aspiring writers not do?

Be concerned to hurry up to be published and try to meet, in-person, the writers that they admire.

9. What is the next big thing for you (goals, travel, etc.)?

Earn money as a writer.

10. What’s the next project for you? (If you’re working on something now, can you share a line, a paragraph or piece with us? Maybe even a word or feeling to describe it?)

A non-fiction book exploring music and cooking: an apology of cooking as a way of life. A book of short stories exploring heritage, these are the titles I have so far: “This is What They Call Spring in Toronto”; “Viper´s Kick”; “What My Father Left Behind”

“Duck Eggs”; “Our Box in the Central Park”. A book exploring (through a corpus of songs in Spanish and Portuguese translated into English) the cultural gap between my friends and I that speak in English, which would be a book dedicated to them. A collection of poems in Spanish, that I wrote many years ago, and I´m feeling ready to work on them again, and put them together as a book.

The views expressed in this BookThug blog entry are held by the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of BookThug.

Puneet Dutt is a MA candidate in the Literatures of Modernity program at Ryerson University and currently works as an intern for BookThug. She has completed a marathon, and when she is not working, running, or doing coursework, she tastes the words of great poets on her tongue. Her poems have been published in Canadian Literature, the White Wall Review, and the League of Canadian Poets published “The Lonesome Lunch” for the 2013 National Poetry Month’s New Poet Selection. She resides in Toronto with her husband. (Follow her on Twitter: @Puneet_Dutt.)


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