Sunday, 29 January 2012

ShahSight Book Shop:Andy Szpuk

Shah Sight
Andy Szpuk, welcome on our live show once again, I must admit that we had a great experience from interviewing you last time, couldn't resist not to do it again, what makes you such a pleasant person?

Andy Szpuk I had a happy childhood, certainly compared to my parents and grandparents who went through so much. I thank them and bless them from the bottom of my heart for keeping me safe.

Shah Sight Andy, thanks, do you also think that it's our personalities that sell first and then our works that we have created?

Andy Szpuk I think the use of the written word allows us to explore our unconscious selves very deeply. We can find things out about ourselves, and others, that we weren't completely aware of, and develop our ideas and views about the world.

Shah Sight True, Andy, you were born in a non-English speaking country, right, how come you manage to write in English, and so perfect?

Andy Szpuk I was born in Britain, Shah, 1962. My father arrived as a refugee in the early 50's, and then my mother came later in the 50's, and they married. I was brought up speaking Ukrainian at home, until I went to school at the age of 5, so couldn't speak much English until then. It's a bit of a cliche, but I always loved books from an early age - I was a big fan of Paddington Bear.

Andy Szpuk Anyway, my English is far from perfect!!

Shah Sight Thanks Andy, do you write about the Ukraine, do you set your book there, what kind of connections your writing have with your parents' home country?

Andy Szpuk Sliding on the Snow Stone begins in the Ukraine and finishes there. As a child of the diaspora, it's inside me always. I have family in Ukraine, cousins, I hope to visit later this year. I'm currently researching and planning a new work, all about my grandfather's family in the Lemkovyna region of Eastern Europe.

Shah Sight Andy, has any of your books been also translated into Ukrainian language, do you have fans there, or do you intend to translate it into your native language, later, at some point in your life?

Andy Szpuk I would love for it to be translated! Into Ukrainian, Russian and other languages. I don't have any literary connections in Ukraine, but I've had exchanges with Canadians and US citizens of Ukrainian descent, and had a really postive reaction.

Shah Sight Andy, thank you so much for your time, it was a pleasure to be with you once again on our show.

Andy Szpuk Thanks to you, Shah.


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