Interview: Julianne Pachico

The Brief


Julianne Pachico is a short story writer, whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, The White Review, Granta Magazine, Lighthouse, and Litro. ‘Lucky’ and ‘The Tourists’ were included in Salt Publishing’s anthology The Best British Short Stories 2015, and the former was also longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2015. Her debut collection, The Lucky Ones, is published by Faber & Faber (UK) and Spiegel & Grau (USA).

Which book would you recommend to our readers?
Barbara Comyns is an author I’ve really enjoyed discovering. I love her sassy English humour. Sisters by a River is my favourite so far.

Which film would you recommend to our readers?
, directed by Yōjirō Takita. A Japanese film about a cellist who changes careers. A quiet film about ordinary people, the ending had me in tears.
Which essay would you recommend to our readers?
George Orwell will always be legendary, more now than ever. ‘Politics and the English Language’ is essential reading.

Which poem would you recommend to our readers?
‘Ode to the Penis’ by Sharon Olds, from her new collection Odes. It presents a very balanced perspective [on the subject of male objectification].


The following questions relate to our Perspectives column, in which two writers respond to an artwork that they are experiencing for the first time.

Can children make art?
Anyone can! I’m a big believer in this. Age, background, and public exposure don’t matter. An artist is someone who makes art, period.

Does ambiguity make art less relatable?
I think it makes it more relatable. I like not knowing all the answers. I like feeling that the artist trusts me.

Is dreaming a form of creativity?
I sometimes use dreams as scenes in my writing. I recently had a nightmare about Steve Bannon – I definitely won’t be using that one.

States of the Arts

The following questions relate to our States of the Arts column, for which each article includes four artworks that share an association with a single nation or territory.

Which Argentinian artwork would you recommend to our readers?
Mad Toy
, a novel by Roberto Arlt. I love its crazed depiction of youth, adventure, and undercover book theft.

Which Colombian artwork would you recommend to our readers?
Any of Doris Salcedo’s visual art. I admire its brutality, beauty, and simplicity.

Which South African artwork would you recommend to our readers?
I’m in awe of Henrietta Rose-Innes’ novel Nineveh, and its glorious celebration of bugs, tough women, and open-mindedness.

The art of discovery

The following questions relate to Silent Frame’s aim to celebrate the art of discovery.

Which artist or artwork do you most want others to discover, and why?
I worry he’s a bit ‘over-discovered’, but in any case, Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 is a monumental work and a must-read for the twenty-first century.

What question would you like to ask other Silent Frame interviewees?
What do you love about making art?

More to discover

Julianne Pachico: Visit Julianne Pachico's website here. Read her following short stories online: 'Lucky''Honey Bunny', 'The Bird Thing''Armadillo Man''Mexico: Five Men at the Border'Her Twitter handle is @JuliannePachico.

Today's recommendations: Sisters by a River (excerpt), Departures (trailer), Politics and the English Language (essay), Ode to the Penis (poem), Mad Toy (excerpt), Doris Salcedo’s work (information), Nineveh (excerpt), 2666 (excerpt).

Read more: Interviews with short story writers