Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Questionless Books Interview: Novelist Camilla Gibb

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Camilla Gibb

In The Questionless Books Interview, I get a whole bunch of books people (from authors to editors to publishers to sales/publicity/production people, booksellers, designers, librarians, readers, etc) to "answer" a series of unspoken "questions". The results highlight a delightful mix of the opportunities and challenges facing our sector: from doom and gloom to sunshine and rainbows, and every irony in between.

Camilla Gibb was born in London, England, and grew up in Toronto. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Oxford University, but she escaped the academic world a decade ago in order to follow a life-long dream of writing fiction. To date, she has written four novels, which have been translated into 14 languages and published to rave reviews around the world. Sweetness in the Belly, was a national bestseller, a Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist, and winner of the Trillium Award for best book in Ontario. Her latest book is The Beauty of Humanity Movement.

Camilla's Links:


I am...on occasion, a little complicated.

I am known to...have to lie down in order to think something through.

I do this in...the bath

I do this because...I don’t live by the ocean.

I do this when I...lose the plot.

The way I do this is...naked.

At his/her core, a Writer is...unsatisfied.

As opposed to an Author, who is...capable of appearing satisfied in polite company.

A Writer is responsible for...his or her words.

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for...a persona beyond the words.

At its core, Publishing is...a way to get the words out there.

As opposed to Editing, which is...the work with the words that need getting out.

A Publisher should always...empower an editor.

As opposed to an Editor, who should always...empower a writer.

A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others you are sicker than sick of.

As opposed to a Book that's ready to be ready by others, which is...outside and beyond you in some way.

A Manuscript should always...break some rules.

As opposed to a Book, which should always...break some rules so adroitly that you don’t even notice they’ve been broken.

At its core, Bookselling is...the exchange that brings together readers and writers.

As opposed to Book Marketing, which is...a necessary evil.

The smallest unit of narrative is...often silent.

The biggest reason to anticipate the future is...that sometimes it’s easier to daydream than get anything done today.

The biggest reason to be scared of the future is...the possibility that it all comes to a grisly end.

In the future we will all...have a microchip implanted somewhere.

At his/her core, a Reader is...curious to know something beyond his/her own experience.

However, the ideal Reader both emotionally and intellectually engaged with a text.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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George Murray

George Murray’s six books of poetry include The Rush to Here and The Hunter. His most recent books, Whiteout and Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms, are published by ECW Press. He is the editor of the popular literary website

Go to George Murray’s Author Page