In 1946, George Orwell articulated the reasons why he put pen to paper in an essay entitled Why I Write.
In this Web series, authors talk about their literary habits and reading preferences,
and examine Orwell's question that lies at the heart of being an author—why they write.

Bamboo Hirst

Blue China


Bamboo Hirst was born in Shanghai in the 1930s, the child of a Chinese singer and an Italian spy. Her memoir, Blue China, tells the story of her parents’ romance and her own search for identity following her migration to Italy.


Why I write
So I don’t forget. I was born in Shanghai and lived there until I was 14. I had a Chinese mother and an Italian father. I have written eight books in Italian. Only Blue China is in English and now in Chinese.


Do you write every day? If so, how many hours?
Not every day, but when I do for three or four hours at a time.


Worst source of distraction?


Best source of inspiration?
My childhood and books.


How often do you get writers’ block / doubt your own ability?
I don’t write often enough to get it.


Contemporary writer in any medium who you never miss?


Favorite Chinese writer?
The classics, e.g. Lu Xun.


Best book about China?


Favorite book?
Don’t have one.


Favorite writer?
Don’t have one.


The book you should have read but haven’t?


You look back at the first thing you had published and think..
I was flattered to have it published.


How did you get started writing?
First I spoke about things and then wrote them down.


Does writing change anything?
Has a cathartic effect on me.


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Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by JFK Miller No Comments