Kali Fajardo-Anstine on Representing Different Realities

September 4, 2020

For Elle, authors Kali Fajardo-Anstine and Mieko Kawakami interviewed each other with the help of translators, discussing their books Sabrina & Corina and Breast and Eggs, as well as the importance of finding your audience. “I have had the pleasure to meet Chicanas and mixed women from Toronto to L.A. who feel as though their reality is represented in my stories,” Fajardo-Anstine says. “They tell me beautiful things: ‘I’ve never seen my family name in a story before,’ or, ‘Your work encouraged me to ask my grandma about her life.’ Some readers from more privileged backgrounds, I’ve noticed, can find my stories unrelentingly sad, while readers from communities that have experienced historic trauma often find my stories hopeful, for they bear witness to our common experiences. There’s power in documentation, even if hard to look at.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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