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Bookreporter Talks To

Jan 11, 2022

Xochitl Gonzalez talks to Carol Fitzgerald about her debut novel, Olga Dies Dreaming, which is a Bookreporter Bets On selection.

In the novel, Olga is a wedding planner for New York socialite types and deftly handles all of their quirks and high-end dreams. Her brother is a politician in Brooklyn, who strives to represent the Puerto Rican community. While they both appear to be in control of their own lives, these appearances are deceiving. Both are haunted by their absent mother, who was a revolutionary in Puerto Rico. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, their lives collide with their mother again.

Xochitl talks about how her life and writing have been influenced by growing up in Brooklyn. She remembers the area before it was the more gentrified place it is now, and those memories infuse her writing. They discuss her writing of the book, which started at the Iowa Writers Workshop and was once conceived as a memoir. She also wrote the Hulu pilot script for Olga Dies Dreaming and shares her writing process for that, as well as what it was like being on set with the cast and crew.

Books Discussed in This Episode:

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

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Photography Credit: Greg Fitzgerald