Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Soledad Maura

Soledad Fox Maura is a Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Williams College. She has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, and an MPhil and PhD in Comparative Literature from the City University of New York.

Maura is a former Fulbright Senior Research Scholar, and has published three books (two biographies) and many articles on Spanish and French literature, culture and history.

Her research interests include memoir, biography, the Spanish Civil War, exile, and Spanish-American relations.

Maura's debut novel is Madrid Again.

My Q&A with the author:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

Madrid Again gives some (but not all) of the geographical context, and implies repetition. The main characters spend time in Madrid, but they are always on the move, back and forth between Spain and the United States. Some of the secondary and background characters also live through displacements.

What's in a name?

The names in the novel are homages to people both real and fictional. The main character Lola has one of my favorite names of all time. Cinematic, literary, and the name of a close friend. Also, it is universally easy to remember and pronounce. Unlike my own.

Do you find it harder to write beginnings or endings? Which do you change more?

This novel is not chronological, nor is it plot driven. The narration weaves back and forth between the memories and lives of three generations of one family, so where to begin and where to end were constantly moving points. I was trying to show how Lola’s life, and her family history, exist in her mind. It’s a novel that emphasizes point of view more than beginnings and endings. It could have gone so many different ways. It does not have a hard beginning or a hard ending. Madrid Again starts and ends in medias res.

Do you see much of yourself in your characters? Do they have any connection to your personality, or are they a world apart?

I see bits of myself in many of them, and bits of people I know or have read about or simply imagined. At the same time, I gave myself license to invent, embroider, and transform all the initial ingredients, and that is the best part about writing a novel.
Visit Soledad Maura's website.

My Book, The Movie: Madrid Again.

--Marshal Zeringue