Happy Birthday, Valeria Luiselli, born 16 August 1983
- I like reading the world through a writer’s eyes, rather than seeing a writer looking at him or herself as if at the centre of gravity of the world around them.
- Writers tend to think they occupy a much more relevant place in society than we actually do. But we really are closer to buffoons and jesters than we are to whistle-blowers or moral guides. Accepting our rather insignificant place in society can be depressing – but it’s also freeing.
- I learned to keep at a certain distance from things – and to make myself a little bit invisible while I observed and understood them.
- I can always, quite easily, put myself in other people’s shoes, so to speak, and look at the world through them.
- Cities have often been compared to language: you can read a city, it’s said, as you read a book. But the metaphor can be inverted. The journeys we make during the reading of a book trace out, in some way, the private spaces we inhabit. There are texts that will always be our dead-end streets; fragments that will be bridges; words that will be like the scaffolding that protects fragile constructions.
Valeria Luiselli is an award-winning Mexican author. She is the author of the book of essays Sidewalks and the internationally acclaimed novel Faces in the Crowd, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Follow her on Twitter: @ValeriaLuiselli
Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar