First Chapters Q&A with Alex Landrigan

Alex Landragin is a French-Armenian-Australian writer.  Now a freelance author, he is a former writer of Lonely Planet travel guides in Australia, Europe and Africa, and his writing has appeared in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Los Angeles Review of Books.  He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne and is a past recipient of an Australia Council Emerging Writers Grant.

Alex will be reading at First Chapters on Friday 7 February from his debut novel Crossings.

1. Brunswick Bound has asked you to read a piece from your published work. Tell us what we can expect from the piece you have chosen?

Crossings is about two characters who can ‘cross’ from one body into another. Sometimes those crossings are a little, shall we say, underhand. I’ll be reading a description of my favourite of those crossings scenes, where the narrator tricks a morose young man into the undertaking.

2. How would you describe your writing?

Labyrinthine, self-aware, cosmopolitan, allusive, emotional, conceptual.

3. What was the first book that you read (or had read to you) that left an impression on you? 

Charlotte’s Web.

4. Do you believe that books should answer life’s big questions? 

No. Life’s big questions have no answers. Books should pose life’s big questions, compellingly, and by leading us into and out of the labyrinth can perhaps help us tolerate the mystery with a little more reverence, equanimity and wonder.

5. Do you have any writing quirks? 

Writing itself is a quirk.

6. What is your favourite word or phrase? 

Om taré tuttaré turé swoha. It’s the Green Tara mantra from Tibetan Buddhism and it keeps me sane.

7. What have you found most surprising or interesting about publishing a book? 

How slow it is.

8. What is the question that you hope never to be asked in an author Q&A?

What is your deepest regret?

9. What question do you hope you will be asked and why? 

Will there be a sequel to Crossings?

10. Which author or book do you think should be better known or more widely read? 

Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives. But I am a Bolaño tragic.

Find out more about the First Chapters Event series on the Brunswick Bound website.


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