Wednesday, December 1, 2010
le thi diem thúy
Le thi diem thúy (pronounced LAY TEE YIM TWEE; all words not capitalized unless at the beginning of a sentence; referred to both formally and informally as thúy) was born in 1972 in southern Vietnam. She came to the U.S. in 1978 where she was raised in southern California and later graduated from Hampshire College in 1994 with a focus on women's studies and postcolonial literature. thúy wrote The Gangster We Are All Looking For between 1992-2002. She now lives in western Massachusetts. Her upcoming project is a photojournalists view of Vietnam during the war years.
The Author’s View of Writing
She compares writing to athletics (prepare, train, act when the moment arrives).
She compares writing to capturing the ineffable:
“I had a studio once near the train tracks and a bunch of freight trains would come by. I could feel them coming before I could actually hear them. Once I wrote, "Here comes a train," and in the time it took me to write those words, the train had already come and gone. I thought, this is so true of writing. It's so slow. On some level, it's both anticipating and yet it's always behind. There is something in language itself that is trying to point a finger or put a hand on something that is ineffable.”
She seeks to create characters and follow them:
“I read a lot. I never had any formal training or workshops. My main interest in fiction is in the following part of it, the part of it where characters get ahead of you. You're following them where windows and doors and entire atmospheres open that you're not anticipating and that you have no control over, but that you shape because you're the writer.”
She says revision is like shaping “musculature” on the “bones” of a piece of work.
She is interested in the “tension between what is on and what is off the page.”