Thursday Interview: Author Hector Tobar discusses new Nanny novel ‘Barbarian Nurseries’

An exclusive interview by Nanny X (c) 2012
Hey Hector. Thanks for agreeing to this interview. Can you
tell us a bit about your background as a writer?
I’ve been writing books for about 20 years, and I’ve been a
journalist for about 25 years. I was born in L.A., got a job at the LA Times in
my mid twenties, then quit and got an MFA in Creative Writing at UC Irvine. The
Barbarian Nurseries in my third book, and the first published by the
prestigious Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
What’s your book ‘Barbarian Nurseries’ about?
It’s about an immigrant woman, from Mexico, who lives in a
home in a gated Orange County, California community with a family of five. The
well-off couple she works for get into economic difficulties, she’s left alone
with the two boys, and eventually takes them to central Los Angeles in search
of their grandfather. In the events that follow, she’s charged with kidnapping
and becomes the object of a citywide media scandal.
How long did it take you to research the characters?
I spent too many years to count working on it. I finished a first
draft on the day my first son was born. He was at the book launch last year,
and, at 15 years old, even offered a critique of the passages I read.
Why do you think women will enjoy reading this book?
The two main characters are two very strong, and very
different women.
What drew you to the subject matter of this book?
It’s a book about a well-off family that’s a lot like mine.
I explore how we, American families of means, try to provide a life of ideas
and beautiful things to our progeny, and how that project can involve the
underpaid, under-appreciated labor of others. And it’s about an immigrant
woman: and I am the son of Guatemalan immigrants.
Where can we buy ‘Barbarian Nurseries’?
At your local independent bookstore. And also at Amazon.Com,
Barnes and Noble, and in electronic form for Kindle, IPad, etc. etc. There’s a
wonderful audiobook too, read by Frankie Alvarez of the Oregon Shakespeare
Click here to order ‘Barbarian Nurseries’:
Author: Hector Tobar