Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with Andrew Kaufman

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The Dirty Dozen, with Andrew Kaufman

The curious premise of Andrew Kaufman's The Tiny Wife (Cormorant Books) is classically Kaufman. His previous books, including All My Friends are Superheroes and Born Weird were loved not only for Andrew's witty, vibrant prose, but for their perfectly odd casts of characters. The Tiny Wife follows this tradition, centring on a bank robbery that involves no money at all. Instead, the robber in question forces 13 people in the bank to part with their dearest possessions, many of which are objectively worthless.

Today, we speak with Andrew as part of our Dirty Dozen series, where authors and artists are invited to share 12 unexpected facts about themselves. Andrews tells us about his literary numerology, a feline namesake and the very Torontonian origin of one of his book covers.

  1. I’m kinda a chess fanatic. I usually play three or four games on-line a day. I have a chess coach named Sasa.
  2. The first rock show I ever went to was The Men Without Hats at the Ontario Place Forum.
  3. I have this weird thing I do with numbers in my books. Any number attached to anything rates how good or bad a thing that is in the character’s life. Five is the middle — anything below five is various grades of bad, above that is various grades of good. The number 117 appears a lot — since it adds up to nine.
  4. I collect letterhead.
  5. I cry at pretty well any kids movie; Cars, the Smurfs, even the Lego Movie did it to me.
  6. As a child I had a cat named Aberistiwith, which the main character in The Waterproof Bible was named after.
  7. There are only eleven obscure facts about me.
  8. Between 1990 and 1999 I lived in the following cities; Wingham, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Halifax, Winnipeg and Toronto.
  9. My very first job in was doing camera for the six o’clock and eleven o’clock on C.K.N.X. Channel Eight.
  10. During my twenties I was a master couchsurfer.
  11. My favorite artist of all time is Ian Carr Harris.
  12. The cover of All My Friends Are Superheroes is a picture from the Toronto Archives. He’s a marathon swimmer that’s just got out of Lake Ontario, which is why he’s covered with grease. You can see the Prince’s Gates in the background.


Andrew Kaufman was born in the town of Wingham, Ontario. This is the same town that Alice Munro was born in, which makes him the second best writer from a town of three thousand. He attended F.E. Madill High School. He is the author of Born Weird, All My Friends Are Superheroes, The Waterproof Bible and the short story collection Selected Business Correspondence. He, for now, lives in Toronto with his awesome wife and two kids, Phoenix and Frida.

Check out all the Dirty Dozen interviews in our archives.

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