Monday, July 14, 2008

¡Yo vengo a gozar!

Exclusive reports from Crime Fiction's international big-bash by our roving reporter

2nd day - interviewing Rolando Hinojosa

Chicano writer Rolando Hinojosa met with me on a cold and rainy Saturday morning. We talked about what la Semana Negra means for him, his book and much more. Enjoy.

Thania: What has been your experience at la Semana Negra?

Rolando: I started attending la Semana Negra ten years ago. I’ve only missed one year, in 2005, and it was only because I was having some health issues, but overall I always try not to miss La Semana.

Three years ago I started teaching, with Spanish writer Elia Barceló, creative writing courses to adults. This year we have a big group of sixteen students; there are fifteen women and one man. The students are seventy years or older, and since they have lived a lot, they also have a lot of experience and a lot to talk about. We meet every day and I read, edit, and provide some criticism of their work. They are dedicated students and one of our students who started taking the classes three years ago has already published a novel; she is eighty-six years old. So we feel very proud to be a part of that.

Thania: What about your experience as a writer?

Rolando: I always participate in discussions here. For example this year I’ m going to participate in a series of discussions about “El mal y sus protagonistas” (Evil and its principal characters). But I also present my work here, either my latest book or work that is going to be published soon. This year I have a novella entitled “Los siete contratos de Ramsey.” I’m trying to get it published here in Spain along with two other novellas that I have written.

Thania: And what about these novels; do they follow the “color” of La Semana? Are they “dark”?

Rolando: Yes, yes, for example, “Los siete contratos de Ramsey” is about an Irish-American cop from Manhattan who retires after twenty-two years of service to turn into a contract killer, “en un matón.” He has seven contracts. Although he is a killer, he is a really good killer. He accomplishes all the contracts, so he is a good worker, but he is also very kind. He behaves good, he is a widower; besides all the killing that he does for money, he is a really good person. The book is in Spanish, but this summer I’m planning to translate it into English.

* * *

This is the short version of a one-hour interview with Rolando Hinojosa. Unfortunately with the hectic Semana Negra schedule I didn’t have the time to type up the complete interview. This is only a taste, but you can imagine what is coming. Hinojosa’s ten years of Semana Negra are hard to explain in one sentence, but what he emphasized throughout the interview is:

“I come to Gijón to have a good time and see old friends, even if I have to do a little work here and there. Yo vengo a gozar!”

Saludos desde Gijón!

Thania Muñoz


norma landa flores said...

Thania, Thanks for the posting of your interview with Rolando Hinojosa. When he discusses his new book, "El Mal y Sus Protagonistas" please find out what "Mal" he is referring to. Does he mean evil nations, people, behaviors, ideas, policies? Which of these or all of these? The answer may come out in your more extended posting of his interview, which I'm looking forward to reading. In the meantime keep on gozando!

Norma Landa Flores

Odysseus said...

Interesante. Debe de ser una experiencia unica el estar en La Semana Negra. Como bien lo sabes, la literatura no es mi fuerte, pero si me emocionan las cosas culturales. Felicidades. Por favor mantennos al tanto por medio de myspace para poder venir cada vez que pongas algo nuevo. Saludos y estamos contacto.