Yr. humble correspondent tries out his radio voice

October 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The redoubtable Erin Balser (@booksin140 on Twitter and Books in 140 Seconds on the Keepin’ It Real Book Club) has inaugurated a Monthly Book Report podcast on the CBC Books website. The first podcast features a look at the Scotiabank Giller Prize, which includes a roundtable discussion Balser conducted with yr. humble correspondent, Kobo’s Nathan Maharaj, and Evan Munday of Coach House Books. The podcast also contains a news roundup and a look at the City of Toronto Book Award, with input from nominees Cary Fagan (Valentine’s Fall), Lauren Kirshner (Where We Have to Go), and Mark Sinnett (The Carnivore).

Like Narcissus watching his coffee get cold

July 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The lovely and talented Lauren Kirshner, author of the recently released debut novel Where We Have to Go, is this month’s writer-in-residence over at Open Book Toronto. She’s got an interesting post there about the challenges involved in writing about one’s home city (in her case, Toronto), and about why she likes to leave home to write:

For me, getting out of my apartment to write is necessary, even when I’m making excuses for why my desk is where it’s at. There’s a kind of negative stillness/stagnation that can set it when I sit in the same place for too long. It’s not like staring into a pond and seeing the reflection of the trees and the swatches of rainbow colour dancing. It’s more like Narcissus watching his own coffee getting cold. When that happens, I know it’s time to get out into the city.

(Anyone who doubts why I admire this woman’s writing so much need only consult the title of the current post.)

As a bonus, she’s recruited some local writers to comment on where their favourite spots to read and write are. So, if you’re feeling in the mood to stalk a Toronto-based writer, head on over to Open Book to discover which coffee snob gravitates to the Linux Café to eavesdrop on CBC journos, which author wrote part of his recent memoir on the Toronto subway, and which irredeemable pervert compares reading in public to public masturbation. (I see a whole new set of Google searches emerging …)