Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with David Macfarlane

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Ten Questions with David Macfarlane

David Macfarlane is an award-winning author whose prose and poetry have appeared in Saturday Night, Toronto Life, Maclean’s and Books in Canada. He is the author of the bestseller The Danger Tree and the novel Summer Gone. He recently edited Toronto: A City Becoming (Key Porter Books), a collection of essays from contributors such as Richard Florida, Sarah Milroy, David Crombie and Linda McQuaig. The launch for Toronto: A City Becoming is on Monday, April 14 at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom. Click here for event details.

OB:

Tell us about your book, Toronto: A City Becoming.

DM:

It struck me that while cities always change, Toronto is going through a particularly dramatic period of change – for good and for ill. I thought it would be interesting to ask interesting people to address that.

OB:

What do you think is most becoming about Toronto?

DM:

Personally, I like the creative energy I find here. I’m always astonished by the caliber of what Toronto produces – musically, artistically, dramatically. Design. Dance. Even, dare I say, writing.

OB:

Did you have a specific readership in mind for your book?

DM:

Obviously, I hope it’s of interest to Torontonians. But more broadly, to people who love cities.

OB:

Describe your ideal writing/editing environment.

DM:

Quiet office. Early morning. Black coffee.

OB:

What was your first publication and where was it published?

DM:

I appeared in a poetry anthology. I think 1975. Funny you should ask, because I’ve just remembered the poem was “Sestina for Toronto.”

OB:

What are you reading right now?

DM:

The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes (my daughter is in Australia) and In Search of the Blues by Marybeth Hamilton.

OB:

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

DM:

Running in the Family; Anything by Alice Munro; Sunshine Sketches.

OB:

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a writer?

DM:

In order to be a writer you must be a reader. Imagine the book you would most like to read. Then write it. (I think that’s advice that Seymour Glass gave to Buddy Glass in one of the J.D. Salinger books.)

OB:

Describe the most memorable response you’ve received from a reader.

DM:

I wrote a play that a couple attended at the Tarragon. She thought it was one of the best plays she’d ever seen. He thought it was the worst play he’d ever seen. They started to argue about it after the performance. Their marriage broke up.

OB:

What is your next project?

DM:

I am currently working on an Illustrated History of Toronto to be published in spring ’09.

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