Featured Interview With Anniks Milisic-Stanley
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was raised in the UK in a green and pleasant Dorsetshire village complete with thatched cottages and a village public house.
I live in Rome, Italy.
I have a rescue dog named Bea. Abandoned as a puppy she was picked up in a nearby town and I got her from a rescue center.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I have always loved books and read avidly as a child and as a teenager. I studied English Literature until university, and was lucky to have some amazing teachers. Later I studied social anthropology and went to work with humanitarian organisations in the developing world. I always wrote creatively as an artistic outlet and wanted to publish someday. When I had children, I decided to pursue this dream and turn it into reality.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favourite authors include Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, Angela Readman, Kurt Vonnegut, Dennis Potter, William Boyd, T. S. Eliot, Jonathon Franzen, Arundhati Roy, Jane Austen, Doris Lessing, Alice Munro, Fay Weldon, Daniel Keyes, Maya Angelou, Isabel Allende, and many, many others.
I like literary fiction and rarely, science fiction. I love fiction about diaspora and culture clashes. I love reading short stories as well as novels. I am inspired by the magical stories of ordinary people that I meet every day on the streets of Rome, or wherever I may live at the time. I live a life on the constant move so I never run out of inspiration.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest book is called ‘The Disobedient Wife’. It is the first novel in English to be set in contemporary Tajikistan, a Republic formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The book is about cross-cultural friendship, women, drug trafficking, infidelity, local and expatriate life in Central Asia.
In 2008, there were a series of small explosions in Dushanbe. No one claimed responsibility.
Dedicated to the women of Tajikistan, The Disobedient Wife intertwines the narratives of Harriet Simenon, whose journal portrays a darker interior world than that of the rich wife of the powerful Henri Simenon, and Nargis, her local nanny and maid, struggling with poverty, yet with a strength that Harriet comes to admire as her own life unravels against a backdrop of violence and betrayal.
This book is completely fictional, but based on experiences that I had when I lived in Tajikistan from 2006-2009. It took me over four years to write, with many drafts. I won the Cinnamon Press Novel Award for 2014 and got published in late 2015. It is available on kindle and in paperback from all online stores as well as in bookstores around the world.
From Cinnamon Press: ‘Rich with sense of place and deeply humane, Milisic-Stanley brings the acute observation of an artist and social anthropologist to bear on this moving and compelling story of how two women survive and thrive in difficult circumstances’.
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