Aaron Rand, who has a popular drive time show in Montreal, interviewed me about my Boston Review story, “A World On Fire: Life and Death in a New Orleans Squat”, published in the January/February issue of The Boston Review, about a fire in a warehouse in New Orleans 9th Ward on 12/18/10 where eight young people perished.
He and I spoke only a few days after the story was published, and it was a surprise to be on the radio that soon. Even more of a surprise was the fact that he interviewed me about “this whole situation that happened with your daughter.”
In fact, the story only mentions my daughter briefly. Most of it is about the lives of those who died in the squat fire. I tried to practice what others advised, what politicians do, which is to answer the question you want to answer, not the one you are asked. I really wasn’t prepared to talk about my daughter and me, but that was definitely where Mr. Rand wanted to go.
When I was thinking about the interview after it aired, I thought I did a very bad job of conveying the story. I wanted to say so much more about those who died in the fire, and I had avoided saying much about my daughter in the writing of the story. Now that I have some distance on it, I think it’s not too bad. Mr. Rand forced me to answer questions like a sociologist, and as a mom, rather than as a journalist who spent a whole year working on a story about the eight who died. If I step back a bit, though, the interview has strong content.
Just click on the highlighted part and the audio should play.