The Creative Writing Interviews: Emily Raboteau

The Creative Writing Interviews form a series of interviews with contributors to our Creative Writing Studies list. Find out about their work and approach towards writing.

Frances Haynes writes: Emily Raboteau is the author of the novel The Professor’s Daughter (Henry Holt, 2005) and the upcoming work of creative nonfiction Searching for Zion (Grove Press, 2013). She is also a contributor to our forthcoming publication, Creative Writing.

Emily, what do you write? 

I write fiction, essays, and creative nonfiction. My next novel, Endurance, is a mystery about the death of an autistic boy at the hands of one of his parents.

Whom do you write for?

I take all comers. There’s no profile in my mind of the kind of reader I want to reach. If I’ve done my best to write about something that matters to me, the hope is that it might matter to someone else. That could be a prisoner, a housewife, a party clown. I really don’t care. I’m just so grateful to whoever reads my work.

What achievement are you most proud of as a writer?

Being translated into other languages.

And what do you find most challenging about writing?

Sitting down every day to do it.

What involvement do you have / have you had with creative writing as a university/college subject/discipline?

I studied creative writing as a graduate student. I have an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree. Now I’m an associate professor in the English Department at the City College of New York, where I teach creative writing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

What is your ambition as a writer?

To get better at it.


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