Featured Interview With Sari Fordham
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
My family moved to Uganda when I was young, and I lived there during and after the dictatorship of Idi Amin. I now live in Riverside, California, and we have two rescue dogs.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I came into writing as a reader. I would hide books under my desk in class, read when I got home from school. I even read obsessively when we visited my mother’s family in Finland. I remember driving through Turku and my mother telling me, “Look up occasionally. Who knows when will we be back in Finland?” and I was think and ‘Who knows when I’ll have a chance to read this book again?’
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I love reading literary fiction and nonfiction. Some recent books that I have loved include, “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo; Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi; Made in China by Amelia Pang; and The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper.
I’m inspired by all the writers who show up every day to observe the world as honestly as possible.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My memoir WAIT FOR GOD TO NOTICE narrates my childhood in Uganda. I grew up in a house surrounded by jungle and we often saw mambas, driver ants, monkeys, and genets. The political situation was often violent and at one point, our family was under house arrest. Flash forward 10 years and my sister Sonja and I are teenagers living in America and we think our mother is scared of everything. She doesn’t drive and she is worried about strangers shooting us. I am embarrassed, as one is. When I’m in my twenties, however, she dies and I’m not sure what to do. In my memoir, I return to our shared history in Uganda, partly as a way to consider what home is and partly in an attempt to better understand my complex mother.
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