Featured Interview With Tsipi Sharoor
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in Ramla ,a small town which used to be called “The Liverpool of Israel”. It was the capital of the rock-and-roll during the 60’s and 70’s, which had a huge impact on me. That impact of rock music in my hometown, can be seen in the pages of my book ‘Calypso’. The book is filled with music, mainly of the Beatles, songs by energetic long-haired bands who played and sang at the
‘Calypso’ club in Ramla.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I was a sensitive and well influenced girl. That sensitivity was a trigger for me tostart writing. My creative career started quite early at the age of 10. I then started to write poems and short stories and dreamt about writing novels. Today, I live in Tel Aviv, the city that never stops, still enjoy partying in rock clubs – probably as a result of those days when I sneaked on the stage of the mythological rock club ‘Calypso’ in my hometown Ramla.
I believe that writing has always been a part of me. There was always a need to document anything I saw, to describe anything that excited me. I wrote about anything, family members, trips, about a boy that I fell in love with. Slowly but surely, writing has become an integral part of me. And then, when I was a teenager, I was lucky to meet one of the most important female poets of Israel, Anda Amir Pinkerfeld. She gladly read a few of my early compositions and encoraged me to publish my first book.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Poets and authors have always had an impact on me and my writing.
The most prominent among them are: Raymond Carver with his special short stories, Charles Bukowski with his “straight-to-the-heart truth”. Haruki Murakami, a genius writer, an acrobat of words, extraordinary inventions and ideas and lastly- Paul Auster, a heartwarming writer.
My favorite genres are dramatic stories, fiction, and short stories.
The writer who has influenced me the most in my early days, was Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventure stories.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
“Calypso” is a story of 7 years-old girl who was raped by an adult, after she sneaked into a synagogue to watch the religious articles in the ark, following a story that someone tells her, that God is living there.
As she walks over there by her own, the synagogue maintenance man, who’s also in charge of collecting money for the operation of this holy institute, attacks her.
The event and the trauma remains in her soul, and she tells no one about the incident. Since that day, her life wonder around this incident that became repressed and well kept. She sank into her own world, a world with illusions, music – especially Rock-and-roll, that everyone heard in her hometown. The characters around her are: her older brother, childhood friend and a child immigrant from India who has an impact on their life. The children had a safe place where they sat and daydreamed together – particularly dreams about travels and the Indian subcontinent.
As the girl grows up and her secret is well kept inside her, she’s not able to keep a normal relationship and tostudy. She becomes a strangely introverted girl, beautiful and unique.
After the six day war, where her beloved older brother is killed, she decides to tavel to India, a county that her brother dreamt to see. There she meets a young Indian man, who is related to Buddhist priests. She falls in love with him, they get married and they bring a child into the world.
The man assists her, but the impact of his teachers and the Buddhist priests that he serves in the temples influenced his behaviour the most and he becomes a monk. He leaves the heroine and his son, and travels through the subcontinent to reach nirvana. She is left alone and decides to return to Israel with her son and to deal with her past.
The novel was written for over 2 years, after a hard work and research about the ways that young girls deal with rape traumas, research about the six day war where the character’s older brother was killed and of course many hours of listening to music, mainly from the 60’s and 70’s. This is a fluent book, narrated in second person, from a girl’s point of view. It starts with a childish language, which developes and grows as she grows and becomes a young woman.
I choose the second person’s narration which is not familiar nor common,due to the fact that it was important to me to keep the speech authenticity on one hand, and the need to emphasize the presence of other characters in different times and places. The result is a unique and exciting novel.
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