Skip to main content
Visit the Midday Edition homepage

2015 One Book, One San Diego Pick Announced

We're sorry. This audio clip is no longer available.

May 14, 2015 1:34 p.m.

2015 One Book, One San Diego Pick Announced

GUEST:

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author, "Shadow of the Wind"

Related Story: Entrevista con Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

This is KPBS midday edition. I am Maureen Cavanaugh. It's the timing of clitoris with for each were when the winner of the one book 1 San Diego contest is announced. For the last nine years KPBS in a San Diego Public Library have been taking nominations for one book a year that the whole committee can read and discuss the winning book is highlighted at events around San Diego and in the book is read by community members colleges and book clubs throughout our county. In a 400 -- 450 nominations and 200 to the titles of the 2015 one book's one sending a title selected is the shadow of the wind of by Carlos Ruiz Zafon . Carlos enjoins us on the line from Los Angeles and congratulations.
Thank you.
Did you know your novel was being nominated as a book of San Diego should repair
I did not. I found out at the last minute as though some trouble for the committee who selects the works to reach me says completely unaware is a beautiful and very nice surprise for me.
The shadow of the wind has as cheap enormous critical acclaim since it published in 2001. It's all an astonishing number of copies worldwide. I saw 15 million copies, is that about it?
It could be a higher figure because it continues to find new readers around the world who luckily the book has been very well received and people enjoy.
Is mentioned as one of the best-selling books of all time and I'm wondering how has it been received since it has been translated into English from the original Spanish because
I think very well. I think the reception is very similar. One of the interesting things I found about books is readers are nation of their own. You can find leaders all over the world and they're the same kind of people who love language and ideas in literature. They tend to receive things in a very similar way. I've been traveling on the world of talking to readers and what have to this is how similar they are.
This novel is about books. It begins in any place called the cemetery of a forgotten books. How would you characterize this place.
This is a wonderful secret library made with hundreds of thousands of books that is hidden in a palace in the old town of Barcelona. As a wonderful image at the beginning of the story very much the heart of the story. It's also kind of a metaphor. It is not just a place, it's a metaphor for forgotten ideas and people. All those things that make us human and the tent to neglect. In favor of less important things are in the hurry of life.
The child protagonist, his told he needs to pick one book. Which but does he pick?
He picks a book called the shadow of the wind which is a book he never heard about or the author. He just pics of the book or feels maybe it is the book that picks him to go by picking this book and reading it, he will be plunged into a completely universe of mystery and adventure that will last through his life.
It could be said that books that many young people on courses they follow through their lives, just like Daniels in the cemetery of books, did that happen to you?
It happened to me because my very early age, the promise of the world of books of luggage and ideas was his gigantic universe beyond the windows of my house or my school or the world are what I can reach of physically.
It was at this wonderful thing which by opening the doors of the book because a book is like a world. It's a point of entry into the universe. I could see 1000 lives I commit a lot of people after breach in two different worlds and live adventures. I could have all these things happen in my life just holding this piece of paper in my hand. I realize my very early age I thought if you can't do that with just paper any, it is like magics I want to do that.
The legacy of the Spanish Civil War plays a big part in your novel the shadow of the wind, does that work still affect Spain in the Spanish people?
It is of course the Spanish Civil War which ranged from 19 which ranged from 1936 to 1939. It's the most dramatic and important event in modern Spanish history. In many ways it's a prelude to World War II holds a similar impact society in the world. It's hard Karen that if your setting a store in the 20th century. Even today in the 21st century, some of the fractures and lines of history that converge into Spanish Civil War can be felt in Spanish society because the war was not an accident. It was actually the combination of many different historical trends that have been evolving through the 19th century and at some point everything expletive. When one of those things happen as World War I and World War II those are not self-contained events. They create thousands and millions of rubles that go through time in history and history and culture and take a long time to fade.
Could she read an excerpt of your books or us.
Yes. I'm going to read there a first page of shadow of the wind from a chapter called the cemetery of forgotten books because
I still remember the day my father took me to the cemetery of forgotten books for the first time. It was the early summer of 1945 and walked the streets of our similar beneath skies as Don port over Santa Monica and weep of liquid copper. Daniel, you mustn't tell anybody what you are out to see today my father warned, not even your friend Thomas. No one. Not even money?
My father side. Hiding behind the sad smile that followed him like a shadow altered his life. Of course you can tell her, he answered. We keep no secrets from her. You can tell her everything.
Shortly after the Civil War in Africa color had taken my mother away. We buried her on my fourth birthday. Guillen think I can recall is that it rained all day and all night. When my father asked what heaven was crying, he couldn't bring himself to reply. Six years later my mother's absence remained in the air around us are definitely silence I haven't learned to cycle with words. My father lived in a modest apartment a stone's throw from a church square. The permit was directly above the bookshelf, a legacy for my grandfather that specialize in where doctors addition and secondhand books. Inattentive bizarre which my father hoped one day would be mine. I was raised on books making visible frames and pages that seem cast from dust and who spelled like I carry in my hand until the state because
As a child I learned policy talking to my mother in the darkness of my vegan. Telling her about the days events, me pictures of school, and all the things I had been taught.
Ike couldn't hear her voice or feel her touch but her radiance in her warmth haunted every corner of our home and I believed with innocence of those who can still tell their age on 10 fingers that if I close my eyes and spoke to her, should be able to hear me wherever I was.
That's Carlos Ruiz Zafon reading a selection from his book the shadow of the wind which is the 2000 the 2015 one book 1 San Diego selected title. Thank you for that Carlos because
Thank you.
Your born and raised in Barcelona but live in LA now, isn't that right?
I live between many different places. I have a complex life. I was born in Barcelona and raised there and lived there for many years until I was 28 or so. Then I moved away from the city for a while and then I lived in different places, I have lived in California for a while. I love California and United states and I like to spend time you're so every of ICANN is that a few months out of the year here in the United States and California and Los Angeles. Sometimes I have somewhere else. It depends on my work. I am always, sooner or later I'm always under the California sun.
You obviously speak before English, do still write in Spanish?
You are very generous. The English gets worse by the day. I hear through the headphones saying who is that idiot talking, it sounds horrible.
Know it doesn't at all.
[ Laughter ]
Sometimes I write in English, I worked as a screenwriter and have written in English and made my expense open you write literature fiction, there's a connection the writer has with the first English you absorb which is the language that is first given to you in which you learn to read and write and is a very intimate connection with that. I think naturally, when you try to write literature you should always go to that leverage because for me, English is a third language. Even though I can write in English, I become too subconscious about the process and I start trying to sound too clever and say Kmart no hands, and things like that. I think it makes me a more frivolous writer. I think as an exercise of caution, I should try to stay put. When the book is translated, I work intensively on the translation and I rewrite many sections added that can change many things and I regret everything to death. That I'm already working on a base that has already been done. It's a different process. When I read from scratch, I write in Spanish.
This novel as you have described it to us, shadow of the wind, has so much to do with memory, it has to do with the past and past consequences. Why do you think -- how to think this resonates with the 21st century audience when so much of what has happened in the book happened in the middle of the beginning of the 20th century.
Essentially it's an ageless story. It's a story about life and passion and loss and murder in history and adventure. It may be said in the 20th century but people are human beings. We don't change that much. We have been here for many centuries and essentially human nature is the same. The thing about memory is I have always thought we are what we remember. Essentially our memories are choices that go through our lives and make us who we are. Especially in the moral choices we take. This is one of the themes of the novel. Why we become the people we become what we are the way we are. Could there be different versions of ourselves, and we take a different path in life if we hadn't fall in love with first betrayed a different person.
This is part of materials I like to take a warming too. Adventure love story, thriller, McCaskill themes of the pitcher which of the classical themes of like
Will be visiting a San Diego this fall for a number of the one book 1 San Diego events. Do you enjoy that?. There are some writers who like writing and took necessary like the social aspect and talking about their novels. What kind of writer are you?
I'm not extreme of those who have to be forced by somebody with a gun to get in there and talk to people. I like readers. I think readers complete the equation. They are the people who make it real and make it worth it. I worked hard including stories that hopefully will move them and throw them at entertain them and make them look at the world's in a different light. I would like to meet them and I like to hear what they have to say because that's the most important thing.
What is that connection? How does my work which them? It's always interesting and educational for others to meet readers. In my expense, I've been doing this for many years, it's always been a very rewarding and I still to the point newbie has been during writing fruit at me or things like that. If that happens, it would become more secluded father and said no, I'd rather not.
I think we will behave ourselves when you're here.
I hear people in San Diego are very nice. The city puts something in the water that prevents them from attacking authors visiting the city
You are correct.
By the time I get there, you'll be on bikes and you be so nice
I have done this year, I am so sorry. Carlos Ruiz Zafon shadow of the win named 2015 one book 110 dear title thank you for speaking with us