Samanta Schweblin May Not Be Ready to Read Moby-Dick
The Author of Fever Dream on the Books in Her Life
Samanta Schweblin’s acclaimed novel, Fever Dream, is available in paperback tomorrow, March 6.
What was the first book you fell in love with (why)?
Foam of the Daze by Boris Vian. I was 12 years old and I found it in my friend’s parents’ library. I had never read anything like it—a book that could speak to me in such a surreptitious and profound way. I read it three times before returning it.
Name a classic you feel guilty about never having read?
Moby Dick by Herman Melville. What I feel is not guilt. I have heard and read so many good things from friends, mentors and other writers that I believe, at this point, I respect it too much. I am afraid of it, as if it were a great white whale itself.
What’s the book you reread the most?
Too Far From Home by Paul Bowles. I read it for the first time on a plane in my thirties, when I decided to leave Buenos Aires to stay in Mexico for four months and just write. There is something in that book about strangeness, darkness, and fears that immediately connects me to that moment of my life each time I read it. Like a mantra, I use it to stay focused and calm whenever I need to make big decisions.
Is there a book you wish you had written (why)?
Swimmer in the Secret Sea by William Kotzwinkle. And maybe Klaus and Lucas by Agota Kristof. Also, most of the short stories of Amy Hempel… I would be a really great writer if I had written those books.
What’s the new book you’re most looking forward to?
Apparently, a new book from Álvaro Enrigue is forthcoming. I enjoyed Sudden Death so much that I am looking forward to it. I also have Anything is Possible, the latest book by Elizabeth Strout, on my bedside table. I always enjoy reading her.