25th Trillium Award

The Kingston WritersFest Interview Series, with Andrew Kaufman

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Andrew Kaufman (photo credit: Lee Towndrow)

It's here! The Kingston WritersFest begins this week, and the writers are already beginning to arrive. Open Book: Ontario has been giving you a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of the festival all month long, so that when you finally meet some of your favourite authors face-to-face, you'll know everything from what books they've got in their bags to how they're calming their nerves.

In today's Kingston WritersFest interview, we speak with Toronto writer Andrew Kaufman, who hails from Wingham, Ontario. Andrew's new novel, Born Weird (Random House Canada), takes the old "blessed at birth" fairy tale starter out for a romp. The novel opens at the deathbed of Annie Weird, who bestowed a "blessing" on each of her five grandchildren when they were born. But the blessings, which range from instant forgiveness to constant safety, have been ruining the siblings lives.

Andrew will participate in the panel discussion Born Weird on Saturday, September 28 and will run the Writers Studio session Writing for the Screen later that afternoon. He'll also be at the sold-out Saturday Night SpeakEasy.

For more details, please visit the Events page. You can purchase your tickets here.

Open Book:

Tell us about what you?ll be reading at this year?s festival.

Andrew Kaufman:

I?m reading an intergeneration family epic ? with a test! Born Weird is about five ids who were all given a special power by their grandmother. But these blessings have turned out to be curses and now they have one last chance to free themselves of the Weird curse.


How do you manage the shift between being a solitary writer and a public reader?


I love having an audience, so the shift for me is amazing. It?s amazing to see people who have actually heard of your work, or at least have a love of reading?


What is one luxury you allow yourself when you go "on tour" with a book?


For me it?s the luxury of having a room that?s far away from my young kids. I know it sounds selfish but those few hours I have alone in a hotel room are just gold to me.


What book will you have with you in your bag while you're attending the Kingston WritersFest?


Well, I?ll actually be there with my wife, Marlo Miazga. We?ll be celebrating our wedding anniversary, so hopefully it?s something nice for her!


What are you most looking forward to about this year's festival?


It?s always great for me to meet other writers. It?s funny but not everyone likes to have long involved conversations about the semi-colon.

Andrew Kaufman was born in the town of Wingham Ontario. This is the same town that Alice Munro was born in, which makes him the second best writer from a town of three thousand. He is the author of Born Weird, All My Friends Are Superheroes, The Waterproof Bible, The Tiny Wife and the short story collection Selected Business Correspondence. He lives in Toronto with his awesome wife and two kids, Phoenix and Frida.

Find out more about Andrew Kaufman's Kingston WritersFest appearances here.

For more information about Born Weird please visit the Random House Canada website.

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

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