Who I Am and Why I Write ...
Imma Monsó (LLeida, 1959) has published four novels to great critical and public acclaim: No se sap mai (One Never Knows), which was immediately translated into Spanish and was winner of the Tigre Juan Prize for the best first novel to be published in Spain, Com unes vacances (Like a Holiday) and Tot un caràcter (A Total Character), while her last novel, Millor que no m'ho expliquis (Better Don't Tell Me), was runner-up for the prestigious Llibreter Prize awarded by the Bookseller's Association of Catalonia.
How I Began to WriteI've been writing all my life and, I suppose, for the same reason that everyone else writes -to ease a little the solitude to which we are condemned, a kind of solitude, a kind of internal exile that cannot be healed by simple conversation, however intense it may be. I used to write without ever finishing anything. In general I don't like finished things. I always prefer to have an open door there. Again, I suddenly find that I'm distracted by other enthusiasms, or other obsessions, or other inventions ? I see myself as always having some or other craze, always working like mad but never doing what I'm supposed to be doing ? That's why, for many years, I missed out on reading García Márquez, who's obligatory. I remember that during that period I was reading Henry Miller, Dorothy Parker and Virginia Woolf and I guess I was thinking that there was no way that someone who was in the middle of "schooling" could be a great writer. No doubt I was wrong, but that's how my discovery of writing came later.
Not doing what you're meant to be doing and giving yourself over to your passions has its drawbacks. I've never managed to be a disciplined person. However, this has also turned out to be very productive intellectually and emotionally. I've learnt a lot from my crazes because, in the long run, I've touched on many different matters ? And I've gone deep into my crazes, taken them to the limits ? Then, at last, the act of writing was like finding a place where I felt at home in the world, because every book is like that, a long obsessive period during which everything you see, all you learn, all the trips you do and all the books you read are filtered through the issues you want to deal with in the book you're writing.
How I Began to PublishUntil I was thirty-three I never wrote any story with the firm resolve of finishing it. I wrote my first novel, No se sap mai (One Never Knows) in this frame of mind. As for the idea of the novel, I was having lunch with my partner and a few friends who used to get together to talk about philosophy on Fridays. Someone had brought a bottle of Alsatian Gewurztraminer and, while we were drinking it, I was thinking about how much of the argument of the friend who was speaking fitted exactly with what I was thinking inside and, eventually, the story of the magic wine that enables one to transmigrate and occupy a friend's mind for a while emerged. When I finished it, I took it anonymously to Edicions 62. It ended up in the hands of Oriol Castanys, who phoned me the very next day. It's quite improbable that a manuscript by an unknown author should end up in the hands of the publisher, but that's how it was. It was an incredible stroke of luck, of a kind that rarely happens. The fact is that, if I hadn't been so lucky, I would probably never have published, but would have got caught up in yet another one of my crazes.
Why I WriteI write to live, I write because it's a vice, I write to laugh, I write to reconstruct what I have lost and to have it again, I write to put everything in its place, I write to multiply life, I write to communicate better, I write to seduce, I write to love, to provoke debate, really I don't know ? In brief, I write for the same reasons that I read.
Copyright text © 2007 Imma Monsó