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Five Authors in the Spotlight

Isabel Allende, Víctor Villaseñor, Jorge Ramos, Javier Sierra, and Cristina García

En español | Five of our favorite authors answer five questions about their lives as writers and readers.

Is there one book that inspired you to become a writer?

Jorge Ramos:
Two books. One is Interview With History by Oriana Fallaci. Her confrontational approach to powerful politicians made me believe that a single journalist can change the world with a question. The other book was Massacre in Mexico (La noche de Tlatelolco) by Elena Poniatowska. She was the only journalist who reported on the massacre that occurred on October 2, 1968, in which the Mexican army killed dozens and probably hundreds of students. These two women showed me that courage and the desire to look for the truth are crucial elements to becoming a good journalist and a good writer.

Isabel Allende: If I had to mention just one, it would be One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Some critics pointed out his influence in my first novel, and although at the time I was not aware of it, now I see the similarities. 

Javier Sierra: Caballo de Troya, a Spanish novel that mixed Jesus’s life with the idea of modern time travelers who “jumped” into first-century Jerusalem. I was so impressed that I decided to dedicate my novel The Lady in Blue to its author, J. J. Benítez.

Cristina García: If I had to pick one, it would be the collected poems of Federico García Lorca, and particularly the collection A Poet in New York, for the music of its language, sensibility, and extraordinary attention to detail.

Victor Villaseñor: Homer’s The Odyssey, because it was my first experience hearing storytelling the way my father told me stories about our family. 

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