English Composition II - Dr. Lovell's class

Page 3:  Twenty-Four Questions: An Interview with Alberto Alvaro Rios

[Page 1: On Writing]    [Page 2: On the Writing Process]     [Page 3: On Reading] 
[Page 4: On Creativity and Imagination] [Page 5: On Teaching] [Page 6: On Culture]  
[Page 7: Some General Questions]    [Page 8: On the September 11th Attacks]  
[Page 9: An Essay by Ríos on the September 11th Attacks:"The Night of No Airplanes"
            and Some Final Comments]

On Reading

David Perlman: Hello Mr. Ríos. What are your literary influences, and particularly, what other author or works do you feel are related to "The Secret Lion"? 

AR: This is a difficult question to answer, though I am often asked it, of course. The thing is, I have never felt like I had "literary influences" myself. I don't feel like I came to writing through books. Rather, I came to books, in a different way, after my writing began. In this sense, I have always felt that the world--and particularly my world--was my "literary influence." I have always written, essentially, about what I know. That said, I have since found many writers that I feel a kinship to--they seem to have found their way to writing much the way I did. My favorite writer is Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but there are many, many more writers whose work I love. I have found a particular affinity with Latin American writers, which is no surprise. Some of these would include Pablo Neruda, Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Rulfo, and so on. I also love the work of the Spanish writer Merce Rodoreda and the German writer Gunter Grass. I could go on and on, but these are the first that come to mind. Secretly I read science fiction.

Christina Womack: For all the novels I've read, even those written by world renowned authors, I have most enjoyed the stories that I could relate to, or those that caused me to look at something or think about something in a new way. Your short stories and poems have such an effect. I am looking forward to reading more of your works. I appreciate your idea of an "alphabet" -- how it is not only facts (the ABCs), but your experiences which influence the way you "read" something, as well as the double meanings of words. Most people do not even realize the factors that shape their lives. What I enjoy most about your writing style is that you cause the reader to slow down and cherish the most simple things or the most subtle experiences in your stories and poems. Thank you for taking the time to visit with our class. 

AR: These are kind words (thank you!) and informed words--I'm very glad that you both read the work and thought about it. 

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Web page author and instructor: Dr. Linda Lovell
This page was last updated on 11/20/2007.