25th Trillium Award

The Kingston WritersFest Interview Series, with Iain Reid

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Iain Reid

It's time! The Kingston WritersFest is just around the corner, and now is the time to start planning how to fill your weekend. Open Book: Ontario will be 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 Iain Reid, a Queen's University alumnus who won the CBC Bookie Award for his first book, One Bird's Choice (House of Anansi Press). His latest book, The Truth About Luck, also published with Anansi, was inspired by a five-day staycation in Kingston with his 92-year-old grandmother.

Iain will appear on stage at the Kingston WritersFest on Saturday, September 28 at 9:30 a.m. for a reading and discussion about memoir with fellow Kingston writers Helen Humpreys and Laurie Lewis. He'll also take part in the sold-out Saturday Night Speakeasy event.

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.

Iain Reid:

I'll be reading from my newest non-fiction book, The Truth About Luck. It's about a minor road trip I took with my 92-year-old grandma and what we talked about over the five-day mini-jaunt.


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


I have a tendency toward solitude so it's good and interesting to see (and hear) how an audience reacts to a particular passage. It becomes a form of editing. That's why I like to read from different parts of the book. I'm always appreciative of anyone who's read the book, or who's interested in it. I'm always surprised by it.


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


If I'm in a different city for a reading or talk I like to take a long walk, especially if it's somewhere I've never been. And history shows I'm a sucker for a hotel's complimentary terrycloth housecoat.


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


(Most likely) The History of Iceland by Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson.


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


I look forward to being part of such a popular, impressively-run event. The volunteers, the audience, the setting, it's all very pleasant. It's just nice to be included and see some familiar faces.

Iain Reid is the author of the critically acclaimed comic memoir One Bird's Choice (House of Anansi Press), which won the CBC Bookie Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the year in Canada and was sold internationally. His essays and articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online in publications such as The Globe and Mail, Reader's Digest and Elle. He writes regularly about books and writing for The National Post. Last year the Globe and Mail named Reid a top-five Canadian writer to watch. The Truth About Luck, his acclaimed second book, recounts the unlikely road trip he took with his 92-year-old grandma.

Find out more about Iain Reid's Kingston WritersFest appearances here.

For more information about The Truth About Luck please visit the House of Anansi Press website.

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

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