Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The WAR Series: Writers as Readers, with Tony Nardi

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Tony Nardi

The WAR Series: Writers As Readers gives writers an opportunity to talk about the books that shaped them, from first loves to new favourites.

Today we speak to Tony Nardi, acclaimed playwright, director and actor and most recently the author of TWO LETTERS… And Counting! (Guernica Editions). If you have ever wondered about the inner workings of the Canadian theatre scene, TWO LETTERS... And Counting! is for you. Based on two actual letters sent to a film and television producer and two theatre critics, the book tackles cultural stereotypes in Canadian theatre and film, misconceptions and the effects of 'director's theatre'.

“… And Counting!”, a third letter, acts as a postmortem of the previous letters, taking readers into the present state of theatre, including questions around funding.

Read on to hear from Tony about his early bilingual reading experience, the common effect of great books and a time-bending strategy for getting a head start on the classics.

The WAR Series, Writers as Readers

The first book I remember reading on my own:
A tossup between Cuore by De Amicis and The Gospel (in Italian).

A book that made me cry:
All great books.

The first adult book I read:
Probably Shakespeare, or perhaps Death of a Salesman.

A book that made me laugh out loud:
Without Feathers by Woody Allen.

The book I have re-read many times:
Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Bible.

A book I feel like I should have read, but haven't:
Too many to list. Especially classics.

The book I would give my seventeen year old self, if I could:
I would give my seventeen-year-old self all the classics that I am trying to now catch up on.

The best book I read in the past six months:
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frank.

The book I plan on reading next:
I read several books simultaneously.

A possible title for my autobiography:
No idea, and if I did know I probably would not share it unless I were writing the actual autobiography.

A multi-award winner for his work in film, television and theatre, Tony Nardi, born in Calabria, Italy, is a Canadian actor, playwright, director and producer. A four-time Genie Awards Nominee, he has won twice for Best Actor for his roles in La Sarrasine (1992) and My Father’s Angel (2001). He has performed in more than sixty plays ranging from classics to more experimental and collective-driven works. As a playwright, his first play, La Storia dell’Emigrante – written in Calabrian – in collaboration with Vincent Ierfino, won the 1st James Buller Award for Best Original Canadian play at the Ontario Multicultural Theatre Festival at Harbourfront. A Modo Suo (A Fable), written and presented entirely in Calabrian, received a Dora Award nomination (Outstanding New Play) in 1990. In 1992 he received the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal, awarded to Canadians for significant contribution to their fellow citizens, to their community, or to Canada.

For more information about TWO LETTERS… And Counting! please visit the Guernica Editions website.

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

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JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


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