Cristina Bendek – Finding identity through place

This week, we chat to Cristina Bendek. Her novel ‘Salt Crystals’ was published in 2018, and won the Elisa Mujica National Novel Prize. It’s about the island of San Andres, and Victoria trying to make sense of everything. It’s just been translated and published in the UK.

We talk about how it’s a slightly autobiographical novel, reflecting on Cristina’s own time in an island trying to figure out its place in the world. We talk about the geopolitical situation of it, and how that influenced why she wanted to write the book. You can hear why rain is the best thing for her writing, why setting a word count doesn’t work, and how much she thinks about words and language in her prosaic writing.

You can hear why chatting to yourself is key, why she needed to plan this one out more before she started, and what it was like working with a translator.

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