The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

Courtesy Kaitlin Solimine

Kaitlin Solimine

March 7, 2020

After majoring in East Asian Studies at Harvard University, Kaitlin Solimine published “Empire of Glass,” a novel that explores how China has changed in the last fifty years.

Q: Who/what inspired you to become a writer? 

A: Living in China and experiencing life outside the United States as a high schooler.

Q: How has writing and being part of this community impacted you? 

A: I’m grateful for the supportive community of writers I’m a part of. Specifically, I have found that other mothers have been deeply impactful in inspiring me and providing critical feedback and connections.

Q: What was the greatest challenge you faced in your career and how did you overcome it? 

A: I lost my literary agent when I had completed the final draft of my novel and needed to find a new one while I was five months pregnant. I cried for ten minutes, went for a walk and reminded myself that I could pick myself back up and find a good home for my novel. The book was published two years later!

Q: Who is your favorite writer at the moment and why? 

A: I always find myself returning to: Harumi Murakami, Milan Kundera, Annie Dillard, Joan Dideon, Sylvia Plath, Pessoa and Mary Oliver.

Q: What do you hope to bring to the Los Altos community by participating in Writer’s Week? 

A: I’m always inspired by the engaged and insightful students of Los Altos. I’m excited to meet new students and hear what it is that they’re excited about in the modern world, as well as the ways in which they encounter new literature and ideas.

Q: If you could recommend one book to Los Altos students, what would it be? 

A: “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” by Annie Dillard.

Q: What is the best writing advice anyone has given you? 

A: The fame, the publishing path and the audience are irrelevant. You do it because, at the end of the day, you love writing.

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