Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hanna Pylväinen

Hanna Pylväinen graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was also a postgraduate Zell Fellow. She is the recipient of a MacDowell Colony residency and a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She is from suburban Detroit.

Pylväinen's debut novel is We Sinners.

Recently I asked the author what she was reading. Pylväinen's reply:
I’m reading novels written in omniscience –– Jim Crace’s Quarantine, José Saramago’s The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, Halldór Laxness’s Independent People...right now I’m curious about why omniscience is less usable or relevant to the contemporary and the secular, and I’m interested in figuring out how omniscience can shift emphasis to narrative and plot and story, which I think have given way somewhat to the contemporary closeness of third person or, of course, the interiority of first person. Along these lines, I’m rereading Yiyun Li’s The Vagrants, which uses onniscience in a truly interesting way –– she often says she is inspired by William Trevor, and you can see this most closely in her short stories, but I think, also in The Vagrants. It’s terrifically heartbreaking –– and the effect of omniscience is in fact not distancing at all, or didactic, but allows the reader to enter an entire political and social moment via the emotional lives of many, rather than a few.
Visit Hanna Pylväinen's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue