This is Video of the Week from Wales Arts Review. We’ll be showcasing some of the best art in Wales with a new video shared every week. From music to drama and everything in between, videos will not be limited by medium. Today’s video is a Q&A with Sophie Buchaillard about her debut novel This Is Not Who We Are.
For this week’s video, we take a look at a Q&A with Sophie Buchaillard, whose debut novel This Is Not Who We Are is set to be released on 13th June via Seren Books. Buchaillard holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing and is currently completing a PhD at Cardiff University, where she also tutors in creative writing. Buchaillard was born in Paris and writes contemporary fiction and travel literature, inspired by her family’s travels, as well as short stories that reflect and highlight the anxieties of our age.
This Is Not Who We Are follows the lives of two women who had a brief pen pal correspondence in 1994 when they were just 16, not long after the Rwandan genocide. The novel then follows the lives of one of these women years after their correspondence has stopped.
The Q&A focuses on what role fiction plays in ensuring important historical events are not forgotten. Speaking on the importance and power of fiction, Buchaillard says:
‘It [fiction] plays an important part in raising awareness and making sure people don’t forget. I was struck when I started sharing early drafts with people on my MA. Very few of them had ever heard of the genocide in Rwanda and that was very shocking to me. I think fiction makes it more accessible because it’s character driven.’
This Is Not Who We Are will be released on the 13th June via Seren Books. More information can be found here.