Translated from Arabic, novelist Jessica Soffer’s surname means “scribe”, and seems to have predestined the young author of Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots for a life in letters.
“Writing,” Soffer tells HENRY in her SoHo loft, “allows me to be fully present, is the only thing that closes the distance between myself and the actual world.” Narrative is not Soffer’s escapist haven, but rather, her truest home.
Composing fiction also empowered Soffer to delve into her culturally-rich but historically-fraught heritage as an Iraqi Jew. Religious persecution drove her father, artist Sasson Soffer, from Baghdad to New York in the 1970s. Perched before one of her father’s abstracts, Soffer’s literary future seems as bright as the vibrant watercolor when she declares that she’ll do whatever it takes continue writing prose, because there’s just nothing like it.
Video Editor: Justin Gonçalves