A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Marianela D’Aprile

Marianela D’Aprile at Armour Park on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Chicago, Ill. Photographer: Taylor Glascock

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Marianela: I started writing as a teenager. At the time, I read a lot of short fiction and memoir; those are probably still my two favorite genres. I think Julio Cortázar and David Sedaris were probably the two writers whose work always made me want to write after reading it — Cortázar because he is so agile with language and pacing, and Sedaris because he made laughter out of mundane misery.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Marianela: Nell Zink, primarily, I think she’s just so smart. She writes like an alien who came down to earth and recognized familiar scenarios but then rearranged all the pieces slightly. There’s also not a single word out of place in any of her sentences.

Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Marianela: No, I basically just can’t help it.

Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?

Marianela: There are a few different people: a great friend with whom I’ve been very close for about twelve years, who still reads a lot of what I write and gives feedback. We were fairly angry young women when we met, and I think each of us was the first person to take the other seriously, both in anger and in writing. Then another friend, the writer Eva Hagberg, whose work has been a huge influence on mine; we edit each other’s work frequently and really push each other and our ideas.

Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & did any travels away from home influence your work?

Marianela: I grew up partially in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and immigrated with my family to a small town in rural Tennessee where I spent my teens. Certainly I think that change gave me the ability to stand at a distance from almost anything, even the things in which I am most mired, which I think is essential for writing.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Marianela: I love swimming and cooking. I made some fish cakes recently with trout that my dad caught; they were delicious.

Q7: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?

Marianela: I really love the obituary I wrote for Diego Maradona last year. I reread it recently and thought, “wow, I can’t believe I wrote this.”

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?

Marianela: From Stephen Berg’s “As the Days Pass and Darken:” “Half asleep, I remember, / and it isn’t anything human / about you, it isn’t your / face or voice that I need. / I am older. As the days / pass and darken, some- / thing grows too strong in me / and begs on the street, / in rooms, everywhere.”

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Marianela: I recently interviewed Jessica Hopper, whose music writing I find exhilarating, for a review I did of the second edition of her book The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic. The review is at Jacobin, and the interview is on my Substack

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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