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The Yellow Birds - A conversation with Kevin Powers

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Clifford Armion: Kevin Powers, your first novel draws on your experience of the war in Iraq. You joined the army when you were seventeen and when you returned from Iraq you wished to become a writer or at least you felt an urge to write. Was that related to your experience of the war?
Kevin Powers: In a way yes. I suppose I had always been a writer but not in a way I thought of as something that I could do as a career. Writing was the way that I attempted to understand the world that I lived in, to understand my place in it. So the kind of urgency that I felt to ask certain questions about my experience necessitated, in my case, writing about it...

Sofi Oksanen: They fooled you - Greetings from the countries bordering Russia

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When I was a kid, my Estonian family never watched TV. Not because they disliked TV-shows, but because Soviet-TV was pure zombie-propaganda. Finland was my other homeland and when we got back to Finland, after visiting my Estonian family, switching on the television was one of the first things we did. It was like opening a window. I can still smell that moment, when my lungs were filled with free air, though I wouldn't have used that word at the time – free. Calling Soviet-reality not-free wasn't something one ought to do, if you wanted your family members to be able to keep on living behind the Iron Curtain, and if you didn't want to cause them any trouble. You learn the textbook of silence in that kind of society without even noticing it yourself – yet it doesn't mean you wouldn't recognize the free world as a different and better place...

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mise à jour le 3 juillet 2014
Créé le 18 octobre 2006
ISSN 2107-7029
DGESCO Clé des Langues