Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Proust Questionnaire, with Gary Taxali

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The Proust Questionnaire, with Gary Taxali

Born in India and raised in Toronto, Gary Taxali is an established, award-winning designer and illustrator. His artwork has appeared in numerous publications, including Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, Newsweek and TIME, and now Gary has ventured into the fun world of children’s literature with the release of his first picture book This Is Silly! (Scholastic). This fall will also see the launch of a line of toys he has designed exclusively for Indigo Books & Music, many of which are inspired by the characters in This Is Silly! Gary lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. For more information about Gary and his work, please visit

This Is Silly! launches in Toronto at the AGO on Wednesday, Sept. 22nd. Visit our Events page for more details.

In his answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Gary reveals his greatest accomplishment, his motto, his greatest extravagance and more.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature.


What is your dream of happiness?
Living in a lighthouse.

What is your idea of misery?
Not laughing every day.

Where would you like to live?
By the sea.

What qualities do you admire most in a man?

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
Easy going nature.

What is your chief characteristic?

What is your principal fault?
Being oversensitive.

What faults in others are you most tolerant of?
Judgmental people

What is your greatest extravagance?
My music collection

What do you value most about your friends?
Ability to make me laugh

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?
People who take themselves to seriously

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?
Self judgmental

What is your favourite virtue?

What is your favourite occupation?
My job now, being an artist/illustrator

What would you like to be?
What I am now.

What is your favourite colour?

What is your favourite flower?

What is your favourite bird?
Pigeons, because most people don’t like them

What historical figure do you admire the most?

What character in history do you most dislike?

Who are your favourite prose authors?
Dostoevsky, Beckett, Dr Seuss

Who are your favourite poets?
Jim Carroll

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?

Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother

Who is your favourite painter?
Andy Warhol

Who is your favourite musician?
Billy Childish

What is your favourite food?

What is your favourite drink?
Ginger tea

What is it you most dislike?

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
Playing the piano

How do you want to die?
In my sleep

What is your current state of mind?
Relaxed and happy

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
My career

What is your motto?
Life is to be happy


For more information about This Is Silly!, please visit the Scholastic website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check back for more Proust Questionnaires with Canada's literati in this latest series of interviews on Open Book.

Related item from our archives

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


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