Not permanent, but real: a conversation with Selva Almada | English Pen | Interview

Selva Almada is considered one of the most powerful writers working in Argentina today. We spoke to her about religion, charisma, and power, all topics at the heart of her novel The Wind that Lays Waste.

Reading The Wind that Lays Waste made me think about the role of honesty in religion – and other belief systems – and what role objective truth has when confronted with personal belief. There is a conflict between those who believe that religion is a job that pays the bills, a cynical ploy, or a true calling. Do you think of honesty and truth as something subjective?

I find it very hard to think about religion – any religion, but particularly Christianity – as an exercise in honesty. But in constructing the novel’s universe, I found it interesting for Pearson – a priest with a lot of charisma, and as such suspicious because we’ve got used to seeing religion as a money-making endeavour– to be a contradictory character. Is he an honest man, a liar, a fanatic, a great pretender?

Read the full interview here.