International Festival Of Authors ~ Fall 2011

IFOA Ontario Interview Series, with Patrick DeWitt

 
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Patrick deWitt is the author of The Sisters Brothers (Anansi), a runaway hit that has been nominated for the Booker Prize, Giller Prize, Governor General's Literary Award and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

Today Patrick deWitt speaks with Open Book as part of our IFOA: Ontario interview series.

IFOA: Ontario is the International Festival of Authors' touring component, bringing authors from IFOA?s roster of the best contemporary writers from around the globe to a number of Ontario locations.

Open Book:

Tell us about the book from which you will be reading at IFOA Ontario.

Patrick deWitt:

I?ll be reading from The Sisters Brothers, my second novel. It?s about sibling rivalry and work woes and oral hygiene.

OB:

To what aspect of the IFOA: Ontario are you most looking forward?

PD:

I?ve never been to Ontario before, so I?m looking forward to just roaming and sightseeing.

OB:

Tell us about a favourite spot or area in Ontario.

PD:

See above!

OB:

What is your favourite part of touring?

PD:

I?m something of a homebody, so I think it?s healthy, being made to leave my office and enter the world. I like to meet the booksellers and the readers themselves; it makes the work feel purposeful in a way I tend to lose sight of when I?m shut in.

OB:

What were some of your early experiences with public readings? Is there a learning curve to reading in public?

PD:

My first one went much better than I?d hoped, and I thought: This isn?t hard at all. But then the next one was pretty abysmal, and it?s been ping-ponging ever since.

I definitely feel it?s something you can improve at, if you practice.

OB:

Tell us about a favourite book set in Ontario.

PD:

It?s been a while, but I do remember loving Morley Callaghan?s More Joy in Heaven.

OB:

What is your writing environment like?

PD:

A small office filled with books and records and receipts and broken pens and a temperamental, possibly haunted printer/scanner.

OB:

What are you reading right now?

PD:

Thomas Bernhard?s The Lime Works.

OB:

What can you tell us about your next project?

PD:

It?s a novel about a criminal investment advisor who takes it on the lam to France. Having time to kill for the first time in his adult life, he revisits his childhood love of sleight of hand magic.


Patrick deWitt was born in British Columbia, Canada. He is the author of two novels, Ablutions: Notes for a Novel, and The Sisters Brothers. He wrote the screenplay for the film Terri. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

For more information about The Sisters Brothers please visit the Anansi website.

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

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