The Questionnaire: Ibrahim Abusharif

How do you get up in the morning?

As far as the “worldly” goes, I get up with a hot morning beverage in mind and letting the cats out in the yard.


Do you succumb to nostalgia?

At times, I do. I think there’s a pattern to it, but I can’t figure out quite yet what triggers it.


Do you write long and cut, or short and backfill?

A mixture of both. It depends on mood, inspiration, and kind of writing. The last story: long and cut.


Best piece of advice you ever received?

Be sincere, no matter what.


Have you ever been defeated by a genre?

One time a genre attacked me when I was walking home from elementary school. I fought it off and ran home like crazy.


Are you okay with blood?

In donating it, yes.


Who is your imagined audience? Does it at all coincide with the real one?

Educated, open-minded people. Sometimes it coincides and other times not at all.


What’s your favorite negative emotion?

Indignation over injustice and false narratives.


Is your study neat, or, like John Muir’s, is your desk and floor covered in “lateral, medial, and terminal moraines”?

It was a mess, until my wife cleaned it for me. I’m so grateful for that. I really do feel better about it.


What is your go-to shoe?



What’s your poison?



Title of the book you’re probably never going to write, but would kind of like to get around to?

The Secret Life of Prayer Beads.


Who reads you first?

My wife. I often read to her out loud.


Does plot matter?



Does age matter?

Of course.


Do you prefer to write standing, or must you lie prone in a field of dandelions with a steno pad and a good pen? Or what?

Sitting down works best for me.


What’s the question or questions we should have asked, had we known? What is the answer?

Why review anything? What’s the point?




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Open to any author writing in English about the Chicanx/Latinx experience, the Rivera Book Prize is committed to the discovery and fostering of extraordinary writing by a first-time or early career author whose work examines the long and varied contributions of Chicanx/Latinx in the US. The Rivera Book Prize aims to provide a platform that showcases the emerging literary talent of the Chicanx/Latinx community, to cultivate the next generation of Chicanx/Latinx writers, and to continue the rich literary memory of Tomás Rivera, Chicano author, poet, activist, and educator.

Entry Fee: $35. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Apply HERE