Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tanya Hanamaikai Q&A

Day four of this year's Mormon Lit Blitz is Tanya Hanamaikai's "New Rhythm." Here's a short Q&A about the story and her work:

This story does a great job of letting us feel like we're in a complete world and culture in a very short word count. How did you come up with Morah's culture for this piece? 

For my mom, our proud Mexican heritage runs deeper than Aztec sun stones and temples. She'd shout with gust a song from her time as a performer with BYU'S Lamanite Generation: "Yes, I'm a Lamanite, a true blue-blooded Lamanite! My fathers came from far across the sea!" When I set out to write a Lamanite story, I wanted those of us who have been taught that we are their descendants to recognize a bit of ourselves in their life style.


How did you choose what details to include in this story? 

Every detail in this story was an opportunity to not only build a culture, but to also explore our relationship with it. My favorite line is, "Something in the ancient fathers' original Hebrew no one understood anymore."

What would you like to see more of in Mormon Literature? 

More writers who trust the value of what their diversity brings to our connection as Mormons, whether it comes from their rich culture, sole upbringing, or peculiar point of view.


Where can we read more of your work? 

My last Lit Blitz piece was Worthy World (http://lit.mormonartist.net/2017/06/worthy-world-by-tanya-hanamaikai/) And I blog now and then at tanyahanamaikai.blogspot.com

4 comments:

  1. I love the way this is stated:

    "More writers who trust the value of what their diversity brings to our connection as Mormons, whether it comes from their rich culture, sole upbringing, or peculiar point of view."

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    Replies
    1. Yeah "trust the value" is a nice turn of phrase for the emotional work of writing.

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  2. .

    I'm intrigued by the idea that she new the Great Spirit the Earth and not the Father in the Sky. The Earth is often associated with the divine Mother---I wonder if that's an intentional undercurrent here, that the Lamanites are in touch with the divine but just in a way, perhaps, that suggests the Nephite too may lack something yet?

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