Natalie Diaz asks Achy the PEN Ten here!
Obsessions are influences—what are yours?
I go through phases. In reading, I had a really intense Gertrude Stein phase, then a Reinaldo Arenas phase, a Mercè Rodoreda phase, and a Michael Ondaatje phase and on and on. I’m currently on a Herta Müller kick. And I get obsessed about places: Berlin, New York City. When I lived in Chicago, it was Chicago. Then it was Havana. Right now it’s North Korea. And there’s also food, of course, but those are perversely personal obsessions. I’m always convinced they reveal more than just my palette preferences