Staff rec from Natasha at @brooklinebooksmith for Climates. <3

Staff rec from Natasha at @brooklinebooksmith for Climates. <3

Booksellers talking shop at @portersqbooks (at Porter Square Books)

Booksellers talking shop at @portersqbooks (at Porter Square Books)

Spotted in Somerbridge

Spotted in Somerbridge

NYCmedia - Books du Jour: Episode 10: And the Roots Shall Prevail

"Reza…creates moments of intense drama, exhibiting the tensions and conflicts crackling through lives. The author skilfully peels away the veneer of life to reveal the secrets seething within."

The Guardian

James Kelman’s “If It Is Your Life”

"HAPPY may not lift your spirits, but it’s a riveting work by one of our finest contemporary writers. What better recommendation?"

The American

Wednesday, August 6, 2014: Maximum Shelf: The Goddess of Small Victories | Shelf Awareness



How did you come to the decision to switch back and forth between the latter-day view of Anna’s life, and Adele’s life history as it happened?

Anna was born in hindsight. I needed a character who would listen to Adele. And I felt a need to interrogate the Gödels about their lack of reaction to the rise of the Nazis. I needed to explore this gray area. I’m going to say something very pretentious, but the novel’s construction is meant to be a metaphor for the incompleteness theorem. The system observed here is not a mathematical system, but that of Adele and Kurt’s relationship. Extrapolating from the incompleteness theorem—Gödel forgive me!—we can say: one has to be outside of the system to understand the system. So I opted for a double construction: a subjective perspective, from the inside of the system where Adele recounts her story and her feelings in the first person, and a more objective perspective, in the third person, where the narrator observes Adele and the way she tells her story, completed by the letters of the Gödels’ nurse, Elizabeth Glinka.

Anna was therefore supposed to be an objective observer, but the more I wrote, the more her character developed. The relationship with the old woman became a creative re-creation, allowing me to work without documentation, following my intuition. Her destiny became a mirror of Adele’s with, obviously, different paradigms of social origins and historical circumstances. In the end, Anna is, for me, a very positive character: she gives Adele her affection and the possibility to pass on the vital force that defines her. So the novel doesn’t conclude with a disappearance, but with all the possibilities of a life being constructed.

The 16-year old me who intrepidly read Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach without coming close to understanding much of it (and the 25-year old me who re-read it and understood a little more) can’t wait to read this book from otherpress!!!

What interests you most about writing?

The autonomy of the book once printed. You look at it, you remember the process, of course, but sometimes the result surprises you (for good or bad). In a strange way, it’s like looking at a part of yourself that you didn’t know before.