Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Questionless Books Interview: Poet, Novelist, and Children's Author Susan Glickman

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The Questionless Books Interview: Poet, Novelist, and Children's Author Susan Glickman

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.

Susan Glickman is the author of five books of poetry from Signal Editions of Véhicule Press: Complicity (1983, o.p.), The Power to Move (1986, o.p.), Henry Moore's Sheep and Other Poems (1990), Hide & Seek (1995) and Running in Prospect Cemetery: New & Selected Poems (2004). Her first novel, The Violin Lover, came out in 2006 from Goose Lane Editions. It was named one of the year’s best novels by The National Post and won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for fiction. Her first children's book, Bernadette and the Lunch Bunch, came out from Second Story Press in September 2008 and was a starred selection of the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids & Teens: Annual, 2009

Susan's Links:


I am a small dark mammal.

I am known to burrow and to dance, to cultivate my garden and my friends, and to love my family fiercely.

I do this because we only get one life.

I do this despite the naysayers.

The way I do this is elliptical and resonant.

At his/her core, a Writer is someone drunk on language.

As opposed to an Author, who is the head-shot on the back-flap of a book.

A Writer is responsible for not giving up her vision, no matter how stubborn the world is.

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for brushing her hair and showing up to appointments on time.

At its core, Publishing is a compromise between making beautiful artifacts and selling widgets.

As opposed to Editing, which is a way of hearing the unsaid.

A Publisher should always respect readers.

As opposed to an Editor, who should always respect the manuscript.

A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is coherent.

As opposed to a Book that's ready to be ready by others, which is polished.

A Manuscript should always be typed in 12 point font, which is like the cage around an untamed animal.

As opposed to a Book, which should always be printed on post-consumer recycled paper to signify its commitment to civilization.

At its core, Bookselling is a dialogue between enthusiasts.

As opposed to Book Marketing, which a voice prophesying in the wilderness.

The smallest unit of narrative is the white space at the end of the line
which according to my teacher and friend Denise Levertov
has the metrical weight
of half a comma.

The biggest reason to anticipate the future is that there will be less injustice, less violence, less hunger, and less poverty.

The biggest reason to be scared of the future is the possibility that things will get worse before they get better.

In the future we will all still love reading and writing, no matter what physical form literature takes.

At his/her core, a Reader is a traveler through someone else’s imagination.

However, the ideal Reader brings her own map.


I think it is. I hope it is. I try to ride the fine line between, but sometimes it doesn't work. It's not the same as riding the line between being a being someone with a Drain-o bottle and a plumber, that's for sure. The blending of the public and private lives is disconcerting to many. Writing is something do in private, whereas being an author is a public event. Strategies would be helpful, no? :)

I really appreciated this read. Is it possible to be an author and maintain the likable qualities of a writer? :)

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