“What we pass down”: An Interview With Guest Reader Sharmini Aphrodite

by Shasta Grant See all Guest Readers

What themes do you find yourself frequently writing about? 

I’m really interested in history as a theme – not in strictly in the sense of historical fiction but more as what we pass down: through bloodlines, landscapes, living. I frequently find myself writing about memory, how it intrudes into the present. About the things that don’t go away.

What do you love about flash fiction?

I love how reading a flash piece shows you what a writer is all about! When you’re working with that sense of compression, it really shows what matters to you in your writing: is it a sense of atmosphere? Is it the characters? Is it dialogue? When you’re talking about “cutting to the bone”, flash really shows what a writer considers the “bones”; what they think is crucial and non-negotiable in their writing.

What does an ideal writing day look like for you? 

My ideal writing day consists of me not having to leave the house. It’s about two in the afternoon and I’ll be writing until six; I’ll have finished all my chores in the morning so I can write without anything nagging in the back of my head. The sky would be yellow!

What kind of story would you love to see in your queue this week? 

I’d love to see something with a strong sense of itself: whether we’re talking about the writing, the story, the characters. Despite what I said about themes I frequent, I don’t necessarily want anything that follows those lines – I’m open to any sort of plot or no plot at all. As for the writing, it can be lyrical or plain, but what matters most to me is rhythm!

About the Reader:

Sharmini Aphrodite was born in Borneo in 1995 and grew up between the cities of Singapore and Johor Bahru. Previously published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and Smokelong Quarterly, she was most recently shortlisted for her art criticism in Frieze Magazine’s Art Writing Prize (2017) and her short fiction in Singapore’s Golden Point Awards (2017) and the Australian Book Review’s Jolley Short Story Prize (2018).

About the Interviewer:

Shasta Grant is the author of the chapbook Gather Us Up and Bring Us Home (Split Lip Press, 2017). She was the 2016 SmokeLong Quarterly Kathy Fish Fellow and she won the 2015 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest. Her stories have appeared in Hobart, matchbook, MonkeyBicyclewigleaf, and elsewhere.