Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Proust Questionnaire with Sandy Pool, Governor General's Award Nominee

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The Proust Questionnaire with Sandy Pool, Governor General's Award Nominee

Sandy Pool is a writer and multi-disciplinary artist who lives in Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in English and Theatre Performance and holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. Sandy is a recipient of the Sharon Drummond Scholarship and the Constance Rooke Scholarship in Creative Writing. Currently she teaches Writing Skills at Humber College, is working on an Opera commissioned by Tapestry New Opera Works and is working on her PhD in Canadian Literature and Creative Writing. Her first collection of poetry, Exploding Into Night (Guernica Editions), is shortlisted for the 2010 Governor General's Award in Poetry.

The winners for the Governor General's Literary Awards will be announced on November 16. Check back with Open Book for news!

In her answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Sandy tells us her favourite virtue (that isn't), her idea of misery, her motto 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.

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What is your dream of happiness?
Being in love.

What is your idea of misery?
Working in the produce department of the Valu-Mart in Erin, Ontario.

Where would you like to live?
Somewhere hot and sweaty, or somewhere that has great food.

What qualities do you admire most in a man?
Intelligence.

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
Intelligence.

What is your chief characteristic?
Stubbornness.

What is your principal fault?
Stubbornness.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Right now: food and toothpaste.

What faults in others are you most tolerant of?
Procrastination, good looks.

What do you value most about your friends?
Creativity, or their ability to put up with me when I can’t find my keys.

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?
Dishonesty.

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?
Laziness, ignorance.

What is your favourite virtue?
Gluttony? Oh wait.. that isn’t a virtue.

What is your favourite occupation?
Writer.

What would you like to be?
Writer.

What is your favourite colour?
Aquamarine.

What is your favourite flower?
White tulips.

What is your favourite bird?
The lyrebird.

What historical figure do you admire the most?

Johannes Gutenberg.

What character in history do you most dislike?
Oh so many.

Who are your favourite prose authors?
Camilla Gibb, Emma Donoghue, Cormac Mccarthy, Diane Schoemperlen, Marian Engel
Alice Munro, Barbara Gowdy.

Who are your favourite poets?
Dionne Brand, Adrienne Rich, Nicole Brossard, Anne Carson, Ted Hughes, John Thompson.

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?
Hamlet, Holden Caulfield.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My grandmother.

Who is your favourite painter?
Blair Prentice.

Who is your favourite musician?
Right now: Mike Edel, Regina Spektor, Florence and the Machine, Yukon Blonde, The Wooden Sky, Ani Difranco.

What is your favourite food?
Eggs Benedict.

What is your favourite drink?
Water.

What are your favourite names?
To quote Proust (that sneaky man!) : I only have one at a time.

What is it you most dislike?
Ignorance.

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
To be able to sing and seduce people, and also to do simple math.

How do you want to die?
Quickly, in bed.

What is your current state of mind?
Focussed/frazzled

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Not working in the produce department of the Valu-Mart in Erin, Ontario

What is your motto?
Take your work seriously but don’t take yourself seriously.

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For more information about Exploding into Night, please visit the Guernica Editions 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.

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