bookslut interview: Gun Dealers’ Daughter

Denise, my editor, interviewed me for bookslut. Here’s how it starts:

AN INTERVIEW WITH GINA APOSTOL

When agent Kirby Kim first sent me Gina Apostol’s Gun Dealers’ Daughter, pitching it as an “obdurately literate tale of rebellion and romance, adolescence and assassins,” I couldn’t help starting to read immediately, despite the piles of work that crowded my desk (I’m an assistant editor, after all!). And I kept reading and reading, through the end of the workday and onto the subway and before I knew it I was at home, locked out of my Brooklyn apartment because, in my excited daze, I’d left my keys at the office.

I wish I would have included that blurb on the back of the book: “This novel will make you leave your keys at the office” — Denise Scarfi. But aside from that omission, I have been thrilled with every stage of this book’s publication, and especially with the opportunity to get to know a writer who thinks so deeply and intelligently about her craft, and who writes out of pure enjoyment. It is a testament to her skill and sense of humor that she’d managed to have fun (and to create a fun reading experience) writing about Sol, a daughter of arms dealers who attempts to ditch her elitist roots and become a part of the communist movement — all (or mostly) for a boy!

I feel extremely lucky to have acquired and edited this weird, Borgesian puzzle-of-a-novel that seems to offer infinite satisfactions — a coming-of-age tale, a love story, an amnesiac thriller, a revolutionary potboiler. In this interview, Gina and I talk about the novel as improvisation, becoming an accidental communist, and Filipinos’ singing skills, among other things…. ”

Read the rest of the interview here.

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