In this episode, we talk to novelist Daniel Peña about how to be a cheery human despite being in the business of immersing one’s self in the violent reality of the drug war at the border. Peña talks about advice he got from Rodrigo Hasbún, how once you let go of selling thousands of copies, you’re free to junk what you learned in the MFA program, & why you should trust your indie bookseller with your spleen health diagnosis. Plus, Jessica learns about the wonder that is Texas’ best grocery store chain, HEB.
Check out Peña’s work:
Bang: A Novel (Arte Público Press)
“T-shirts, Deportations, and the Epiphanies of Clemens Meyer in Mexico City” and his regular essays at The Ploughshares Blog
Recommendations and Also Mentioneds:
Affections by Rodrigo Hasbún
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
Sour Grapes by Jenny Zhang
Paco’s Story by Larry Heinemann
On Writing Short Stories by Tom Bailey
Christina Rivera Garza’s article “On Alert: Writing in Spanish in the United States Today”
Follow Daniel on twitter @danielpena. You won’t be sorry.