Meet acclaimed writer Claudia Durastanti, who delves into the intricacies of her autobiographical novel, “Strangers I Know,” in which she describes growing up in a family with eccentric deaf parents forcing her to navigate complex family narratives.
Claudia Durastanti explores themes of identity, family, and self-discovery. In this interview, Durastanti reflects on the challenges of navigating familial ties, stating, “Families are peculiar landscapes, filled with both love and uncharted territories.” Throughout the interview, she unpacks the themes of her book, delving into the delicate balance between self-discovery and the weight of familial expectations.
“Writing about my family was a way of understanding myself better,” Durastanti says, providing a glimpse into the author’s creative process, offering viewers an understanding of the motivations behind her novel, “Strangers I Know.”
About writing about her own family, Durastanti states: “I believe literature is universal at the moment where it moves even from very tiny dots in the cosmos, into very specific lives, maybe even marginalized lives, but it has always this strive to move beyond that single dot or that single story.”
Claudia Durastanti is a writer and translator born in New York in 1984 and raised in Basilicata, Italy. Durastanti is known for her exploration of identity and familial relationships. Her work includes novels, essays, and memoirs, with notable titles such as “Strangers I Know” (2022) and “Cleopatra Goes to Prison” (2020). She is the Italian translator of Joshua Cohen, Donna Haraway, Ocean Vuong, and the most recent edition of The Great Gatsby. Strangers I Know, a finalist for the Premio Strega in 2019, has been translated into twenty-one languages. Durastanti currently lives in Rome.
Emma Holten interviewed Claudia Durastanti at the Louisiana Literature festival in August 2023 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.
Camera: Rasmus Quistgaard
Edit: Signe Boe Pedersen
Produced by Christan Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2024.
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