Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s love letter to literature

New Zealand Listener, March 2013. Interview with Carlos Ruiz Zafon 

>> It’s not quite the answer you might expect from an author who has sold over 15 million books and is feted by everyone from Stephen King to broadsheet newspapers and women’s weeklies. But ask Carlos Ruiz Zafón whether he enjoys his status as Spain’s biggest-selling contemporary novelist and there’s an audible intake of breath. “It’s hard work, writing, you know,” he says. “Honestly, a fight every day against your own limitations. You have to squeeze books out of your brain, you’re constantly trying to solve challenges. I think most writers enjoy the feeling of having written something, rather than the process of writing it.”

But the three books in Zafón’s hugely entertaining series set around 20th-century Barcelona’s eerily gothic Cemetery of Forgotten Books feel anything but a grind. When The Shadow of the Wind was published in 2001, its combination of disquieting villains, alluring women and compelling literary mysteries was a page-turning best-seller.

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