Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

The Proust Questionnaire, with C. B. Forrest

Share |

C. B. Forrest was born and raised in Richmond, just outside of Ottawa. After studying journalism, he worked as a reporter for the Sudbury Star and Northern Life. In 2001, an unpublished novella titled Coming To was adapted to the stage and showcased at The Factory Theatre during Toronto?s SummerWorks festival. His fiction includes the award-winning short story ?The Lost Father.? His poetry has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, Bloodlotus Journal, Bywords Quarterly Journal and Ascent Aspirations.

Forrest lives in Ottawa with his wife and daughter. The Weight of Stones (2009) was well-received critically and was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel. It was followed by Slow Recoil in 2010, and the third McKelvey novel, Devil?s Dust, will be released in the fall of 2011. Visit him at his website

In his answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Forrest tells us his greatest extravagance, his idea of misery, his favourite authors and more.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature.


What is your dream of happiness?
A life filled with hard work, achievement, laughter, adventure, travel, meaningful relationships.

What is your idea of misery?
Being too afraid to make changes that will result in happiness.

Where would you like to live?
Near an ocean or large body of water (that doesn?t stink). A cool tree fort would be pretty awesome, too.

What qualities do you admire most in a man?
Confidence and the ability to laugh at himself and the world.

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
Humour, passion, intellect.

What is your greatest extravagance?
A good suit and a killer tie.

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?
Laziness. It?s an inexcusable sin.

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?
Ceaseless drive. Need to learn to idle in neutral a little more.

What would you like to be?
A positive force.

What historical figure do you admire the most?
Beethoven is one. He composed his greatest symphony while basically dying in bed, stone deaf, and suffering the torment of an unrequited love. Now that?s artistic dedication.

Who are your favourite prose authors?
Raymond Carver. Kurt Vonnegut. Michael Chabon. Philip Roth. Mordecai Richler. Andre Dubus. Annie Proulx. Cormac McCarthy.

Who are your favourite poets?
Leonard Cohen. John Newlove. Charles Bukowski. Al Purdy.

Who is your favourite painter?
Jackson Pollack. Just because he was so nuts.

Who is your favourite musician?
Leonard Cohen.

What is your favourite drink?
Rusty Nail. Scratch that. San Pellegrino.

What are your favourite names?
Seamus. Francis. Mc-anything.

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
An uncanny talent for picking winning lottery numbers. Otherwise, I?m grateful for whatever talents I have.

How do you want to die?
Quickly. As an old man. While saving the lives of several children. And dressed in a nice suit with a killer tie.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Persevering in the face of slim odds.

What is your motto?
No surrender.


For more information about Slow Recoil, please visit the RendezVous Crime website.

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

Check back for more Proust Questionnaires with Canada's literati in this latest series of interviews on Open Book.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Advanced Search