Friday, February 06, 2009


It is always interesting meeting an author off the page and in the flesh. I had to be dragged to a reading last night over at the U of A but as always happens I'm glad I went. Three writers were reading, two that teach at the university: Thomas Wharton and Marina Endicott and one from the U of C: Charlotte Gill. I was suprised by Gill as her Governor-General's Award-nominated book of stories, Ladykiller, is full of nasty and unlikeable folk. I had an impression in my mind of someone tough, punkish, maybe goth-y or grunge-y. In fact Gill was a slim, polished, fashionable woman wearing killer boots. So I recalibrated my perceptions more along the lines of Kitsilano-yoga-latte person. But my attempt to stereotype her was dashed again when the moderator noted that Gill is currently working on a non-fiction book about tree-planting, based on her many years' experience as a tree planter! And tree planting may take all kinds, but Kitsilano-yoga-latte people aren't the type one would normally associate with the trade. You can read a piece about tree planting on Gill's website here. Gill is currently at the U of C as Writer in Residence.
Gill read a bit from Ladykiller, the title story I think. Endicott read a bit from a work in progress, a novel she is working on about the Belle Auroras, a sister-trio vaudeville act touring Alberta and Montana in 1909. It sounds quite different than her Giller-nominated novel, Good to a Fault, and should be interesting. [*** Save the date: Marina Endicott will visit St. Albert Library on March 8th, 2pm!] Wharton read a delightful bit from his book The Logogryph. All three were witty and wise during questions from the audience. And in the audience was U of A's Writer in Residence, Lynn Coady (author of the excellent Mean Boy, among others).


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