Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Barry Callaghan

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Barry

March 3, 2008 -

OB:

What was your first publication and where was it published?

BC:

"The Writings of Margaret Laurence," The Tamarack Review, 1964.

OB:

Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.

BC:

No such event has happened.

OB:

If you had to choose three books as a "Welcome to Canada" gift, what would those books be?

BC:

The Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories, eds. Atwood and Weaver; Pierre Trudeau, French Canadian Nationalism; Egregore: A History of the Montreal Automatist Movement.

OB:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

BC:

I write by hand, and therefore write anywhere but prefer to be alone at 2 or 6 in the morning .

OB:

William Faulkner was once asked what book he wished he had written; he chose Moby Dick (with Winnie the Pooh as a close second). Is there a book that you wish you had written?

BC:

Crime and Punishment (or the stories of Chekhov).

OB:

Is there a book that you think you should have read by now but haven’t?

BC:

Dante complete rather then bits and pieces.

OB:

What are you reading right now?

BC:

Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapusinski.

OB:

Do you have a specific readership in mind when you write?

BC:

No. I know that the fiction market is 70 percent women and that publishing editorially is in the hands of women but I do not write with women in mind, not even when I am writing in the voice of a woman.

OB:

What are you working on right now?

BC:

A book of short stories and my third collection of non-fiction.

OB:

Do you have any advice for writers who are trying to get published?

BC:

Read voraciously, remember that the ready acceptance of received opinion guarantees mediocrity and that maturity is the acceptance of the inevitability of the defeat of your dreams, and, be wary of creative writing schools, and or, journalism schools.

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