Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with Tanis Rideout

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Tanis Rideout

Tanis Rideout's first novel is this season's Above All Things (McClelland & Stewart), which tells the story of mountaineer George Mallory's obsession with climbing Everest, and the people he leaves behind in order to do so.

In her edition of the Dirty Dozen, our free-form interview that asks authors to share twelve unexpected facts about themselves, Tanis tells Open Book about her childhood nickname, her televised guilty pleasure and the upside of insomnia.

You can also hear from Tanis via Quill & Quire's most recent podcast, where she chats about Above All Things and her writing process.

  1. My childhood nickname was poke. My father still calls me poker.
  2. I once lived across the street from Robert Downey Jr.
  3. I make a mean Bourbon Sour, but I don’t measure, so I can’t tell you how.
  4. I ran away and got married without telling a soul and then notified people by email.
  5. I can do 10 clapping push-ups in a row.
  6. I co-wrote a theme song for an imaginary animated TV show that will never be made called: Sir John A. MacDonald and the Time Buccaneers. It would reuse all the backgrounds from Rocket Robinhood. It’d be really good.
  7. For a long time I was going to be an actor as can be evidenced by several Canadian films and music videos dating from the early 2000s.
  8. For 5 years I attended a private girls school in Bermuda.
  9. I religiously watch America’s Next Top Model, although with the changes set for next season, I may not.
  10. I cry far more easily than I would like to: happy tears, angry tears, sad tears — you name it.
  11. I suffer from fairly regular insomnia, this is sometimes very helpful for getting writing done.
  12. Sometimes I lose whole weekends to my xbox. I’m really good at Portal, Arkham City and Assassin’s Creed.


Tanis Rideout received her MFA from the University of Guelph-Humber, and she has been a finalist for the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and the CBC Literary Awards. In 2006, she was named Poet Laureate for Lake Ontario by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and joined Gord Downie on a tour to promote environmental justice on the lake. Sometimes referred to as the Poet Laureate of CanRock, Tanis joined Sarah Harmer’s I Love the Escarpment Tour to read a commissioned poem. She was born in Belgium, grew up in Bermuda and in Kingston, Ontario, and now lives in Toronto.

For more information about Above All Things please visit the McClelland & Stewart website.

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

Check out all the Proust Questionnaire interviews in our archives.

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JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications

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