Melbourne Community Voice

A Cañón for Colombia

Jul 15--Clive Simmons catches up with author James Cañón about growing up gay in Colombia.

15 de julio de 2009

“Writing allows me to create better worlds,” James Cañón says. “We live in sad times, and I lock myself in a small room and forget about those sad times and I begin to create, to shape things. That’s a blessing for me. The place where I go to write has all those possibilities, and the world I create is one of choices and equality.”

Cañón, author of the critically-acclaimed novel Tales from the Town of Widows, was raised in a small town in Colombia. “My mother was a big influence on me, as was my grandmother, for different reasons. My mother was raised to be a wife. She was a very submissive woman, whereas my paternal grandmother, was totally the opposite. She was very strong, very vocal.”

Cañón began working in advertising in Bogota, but after two years, he went to New York to learn English. “I began to hate advertising. It was quite stressful. In Colombia, it was very laidback, but America is all about producing and about competition. The hours were long and I was working on weekends and I began to resent that.
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