Friday, March 19, 2010

Kepler's Guest Blogger Tiphanie Yanique: Questions I hope I Get Asked While On Book Tour For How to Escape from a Leper (and my potential answers)

What kind of toothpaste do you use?

I use Sensodyne. My gums are sensitive. This is a metaphor for my soul…which is both sensitive and toothy.

Are you really Roman Catholic?

a. Yes. I go to Mass every Sunday. Theresa, the writer who found herself in physical ecstasy for Jesus, is my favorite saint.

b. No. I’m Baha’i. The Bahai faith asserts that all major religions have been sent by God to guide us as humanity became progressively more ready for the full insight of truth. Hence, humans believed in sun Gods when we before we developed a sophisticated understanding of nature and science.

c. Yes and no. I find the Catholic faith beautiful. And it has actually saved me many times. But some of it…I mean, really. No condoms? Get out…

d. I believe in myself.

Are you really Caribbean? You don’t have an accent. You don’t seem as authentic as, say, Jamaicans.

a. I’m from the Virgin Islands. We’re an American territory, so most Virgin Islanders are able to code-switch…the Caribbean accent and the American accent are like two languages we live in.

b. Clapse yuh rass clot mout. Wha you deh know ‘bout deh eart my nave string bury?

What are you reading now?

Next to my bed is the official biography of Nelson Mandela. I’m at the part where he has just started serving his life sentence. This section is so hard to read…I keep starting and re-staring. It’s too painful to think that for the next 100 pages he’ll be in jail.

I’m reading lots and lots of stories by my students.

I’m reading email. I really hate email. Dear friends have thought I turned on them because I didn’t respond to an email. I just can’t get my head around email. I have 400 unread messages in my account from the past month. I miss the time when social networking was stopping by for tea or a small glass of rum. Though, it turns out I
kinda love Twitter.

I’m reading The New York Times, which I archaically get delivered on the weekend. It’s my most trusty procrastination tool.

I’ve just finished Paul Yoon’s collection, Once the Shore. I’ve read it twice and I’m now teaching it. It’s really good.

I’ve just started Wench, by Dolen Perkins and Dien Cai Dau by Yusef Komunyakaa. I bought Dein Cai Dau for a friend but then I couldn’t give it up. Next on my list are Monica Youn’s Barter, and Lawnboy by Paul Lisicky.

I really should be checking email…

What is your recommendation for new writers?

Read. Read stories, and poems and novels and memoir. Waste your time reading literature. Then go live. Live a lot.

I’ll be visiting Kepler’s on May 19th as part of my book tour for How to Escape from a Leper Colony. I would love to answer any and all questions! Please do visit me on book tour.

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