Tag Archives: HarperCollins Canada

Ep. #130: Elisabeth de Mariaffi

Elisabeth de Mariaffi is a gifted writer and poet who lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Her 2012 short story collection How to Get Along with Women is extraordinarily moving, emotionally jarring, texturally precise, and it was longlisted for the 2013 Giller Prize with good reason. Of her work, author Michael Winter once astutely said, “She’s alive to what disturbs, and she’s dead to cliche.” Elisabeth’s work has been featured in prominent periodicals and her story “Kiss Me Like I’m The Last Man On Earth” was nominated for a 2013 National Magazine Award. She is also one of the founders of Toronto Poetry Vendors, a small press that sells single poems by established Canadian poets through toonie vending machines. De Mariaffi has a new novel coming out this January via HarperCollins Canada called The Devil You Know and she’s appearing at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival on Sunday Sept. 14. Here, she and I talk about the weather in St. John’s, living between Toronto and Guelph and Newfoundland, meeting St. John’s current poet laureate George Murray, Book Ninja, working for an airline during a long distance relationship, just married, working at Ed Video Media Arts Centre and learning about video editing, writing poetry under the tutelage of Dionne Brand and short stories with Michael Winter, flying together, finding the time and resources to write the stories in How To Get Along With Women, short stories versus long stories, travelling to Hungary a lot as a kid, learning several languages, politics and perception and the tangible impact of the Cold War, how I thought How To Get Along With Women would be funny but it was actually very heavy, the politics of our day-to-day existence, relationships and power dynamics, fear, the whole literary prize nomination deal, writing a novel while the iron was hot, Invisible Publishing, working at Breakwater Books, having four kids and jobs as writers, NO, her new novel The Devil You Know and its relation to fear, February 1993 in the weeks that Paul Bernardo was being pursued by police, darkness, writing more short stories or another novel, sending wedding thank yous, the future, and then the end.

Related links: invisiblepublishing.com twitter.com/ElisabethdeM edenmillswritersfestival.ca


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Ep. #122: Heather O’Neill

Heather O’Neill is a talented and provocative novelist based in Montreal. Her first book was the celebrated Lullabies for Little Criminals, which won Canada Reads in 2007 and the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. Her latest novel is The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, which was published by HarperCollins Canada this past April and tells the compelling story of a pair of directionless fraternal twins in Montreal, Noushcka and Nicolas Tremblay, who live in the shadow of their has-been folk-singer of a neglectful father and bare certain emotional scars as a result. Young Quebecois coming of age in 1995, they are separatists on one hand, but unwitting sovereignists on the other. Their creator is bringing their story with her as a participating author at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, where she’ll read on Sunday September 14. Here, Heather and I discuss how to pronounce Nicolas, why it’s difficult to describe what The Girl Who Was Saturday Night is about, the magic in the mundane, having an amicable break-up with a book you wrote, separatism, separating, and needing people you need to get away from, establishing boundaries to become your own person, why we’re reading this world from Noushcka’s perspective, what this book might say about the separatism/sovereignty debate, class divides, promiscuous has-been folk-singer daddy issues, embittered former child stars, Raphael the sexy bad boy, fame might be a drag, people who think authors are their characters, how Heather relates to her characters, how Quebec today relates to Quebec of the mid-1990s, how a teacher’s encouragement drew Heather to write a story about shrinking machines and a cockroach, needing to write, delving into creative non-fiction and how it intertwines with a novel like The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, the political folk music of Montreal that’s conjured in this book via Etienne Tremblay, Heather’s thoughts on film treatments of her works, Wes Anderson and The Royal Tenenbaums, her forthcoming book of short stories Dear Piglet out this spring, writing more than one story at a time, what Heather will be doing at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, @lethal_heroine, weird turns, and the end.

Related links: harpercollins.ca twitter.com/lethal_heroine vishkhanna.com


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