One thing that I learned at yesterday’s conference was that there’s a new promising writer in Spain who’s Ukrainian. Her name is Margaryta Yakovenko (the “y” in the first name is the Ukrainian spelling, which gives me warm and fuzzies). This whole time I’ve been wondering where the young Ukrainian writers were and now I know that they are in Spain.
I haven’t read her novel yet but I’ll tell you all about it when I do. I made a three-page list of the books I urgently need to read at that conference. It’s glorious.
The best moment was when we started sharing reading recommendations and I said, “I know we are talking about Spain but I absolutely have to mention this amazing Mexican writer whose name is Fernanda Melchor.” As I said it, the scholar who invited me to the session lifted up Fernanda Melchor’s book and held it in front of the screen. He loves the author so much that he always has her book on hand! It’s an incredible feeling when you meet somebody who has the exact literary tastes as you do.