Eduardo Halfon has a few key requirements for his writing:
Peace: “I can only write in silence.”
Home: “I need to feel that it is my place.”
Discontent: “I can only work well if I’m unwell internally.”
Born in Guatemala and the grandson of a man from Lebanon, Halfon moved to the United States with his family when he was 10 years old. Though he studied engineering at North Carolina State University, he has devoted himself to writing, and in 2007 he was named one of the best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogotá. This On the Fly interview was recorded in October 2010 when Halfon visited Iowa City to participate in programs sponsored by the University of Iowa International Writing Program.
Primarily a short story writer, Halfon writes in Spanish. In 2012, his book The Polish Boxer became the first of his works to be published in English. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on continuing the story of The Polish Boxer.
In the interview, he speaks about his influences, the stories he has carried internally for long period of times, and what helps him recharge as a writer. He contends, “Everyone is a writer, but not everyone knows how to write…The telling of a tale is more important than the tale itself.”