Monday, February 16, 2009

Bookmarks Interview with Jessica

Here's a question Jessica asked me about Murder in the Latin Quarter

BM: When we spoke with you last year, Murder in the Rue de Paradis, which explored the crimes of a militant Turkish group, had just come out. How did you get from there to the Left Bank and Haitian politics?

CB: My editor had been suggesting that Aimée go the Left Bank, a part of Paris I didn’t know so well at the time. I really liked the Latin Quarter (except for the touristy area), but, when I visited in 2007, I found it hard to get a handle on the place. Then, one of my last days there, I had coffee with a documentary filmmaker, who told me about a great place out of Jules Verne—a laboratory near Jardin des Plantes. I was totally intrigued, so with two friends, in the rain and dusk, walked up and down the streets. We came upon a crumbling wall, walked around, peered through the windows, and saw specimen cabinets and bones hanging from the tall ceilings. We didn’t have an appointment, but talked our way into the lab. We were greeted by an older man, an expert on imported and domestic pigs in Haiti, who talked about Haiti and took us on an informal tour. This was my inspiration for some of the novel’s plot.

The rest on


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