Re: RARA-AVIS: Jose Latour in Globe & Mail

From: William Denton (
Date: 21 Mar 2006

On 12 March 2006, Karin Montin wrote:

> In yesterday's Globe & Mail books section, Jos頌atour writes about
> crime and crime fiction.

He and Peter Robinson (the Toronto novelist who does the Inspector Banks series) did a public interview a few days before that--Robinson asking the questions, Latour talking about how he started reading crime novels, when he started writing, how he and his family got to Toronto, and so on. It was an interesting night, and I was glad I went.

He started reading crime novels because his aunt ran a hairdressing salon
(or perhaps his uncle ran a fancy barber shop). Either way, this was pre-revolution (Latour's in his mid-sixties now) and there were lots of American customers who would leave behind the books they read while they waited. Lots of crime paperbacks. He'd take them home, read them, and he never forgot them. He said he started writing in part because he needed the money--crime novels are very popular in Cuba but they were very hard to get, and people bought his first book like crazy even though he was a complete unknown.

Latour's a considerate and considered man. There were three questions taken from the audience after the chat. The first person asked where she should go in Cuba on her next trip. Latour gave good recommendations. The second person didn't really have a question, but wanted to tell Latour he wrote sex scenes very well. Latour thanked him. The third person wanted to talk about Cuban politics, and Latour explained his views clearly, succinctly, and firmly. No-one asked about his books, but lots of people lined up to get his new one signed, so he certainly has readers.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : :

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