Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

The Proust Questionnaire, with Jeanne Beker

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Jeanne Beker is the host and segment producer of the internationally syndicated FashionTelevision and style columnist for the Globe and Mail. She was editor-in-chief of FQ and SIR magazines, as well as being a celebrated judge for several seasons on Canada’s Next Top Model. In the fall of 2010, Jeanne launched her clothing line EDIT at the Bay across Canada. She is the author of five books, including The Big Night Out and Passion for Fashion. Her most recent book, Strutting It! The Grit Behind the Glamour (Tundra Books) is a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a model. She lives in Toronto.

In her answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Jeanne tells us her greatest accomplishment, her motto, her idea of misery 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?
Being surrounded by those I love, with everybody in a good mood!

What is your idea of misery?
Being surround by those I love, with everybody in a bad mood.

Where would you like to live?
In Paris, in the 6th arrondissement…

What qualities do you admire most in a man?
Integrity, sensitivity, courage, passion and a great sense of humour…

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
Honesty, tenacity, wit, generosity and kindness…

What is your chief characteristic?
Wearing my heart on my sleeve.

What is your principal fault?

What is your greatest extravagance?
Parking tickets and outrageous shoes…

What do you value most about your friends?
Their loyalty, support and understanding, and the cozy comfort they bring me…

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?

What is your favourite virtue?
Patience, though I don’t have tons of it….

What is your favourite occupation?
Master juggler.

What would you like to be?
At peace.

What is your favourite colour?
Blood orange.

What is your favourite flower?
Lily of the Valley.

What is your favourite bird?
The Great Blue Heron.

What historical figure do you admire the most?
Jeanne d’Arc.

What character in history do you most dislike?
Adolf Hitler.

Who are your favourite prose authors?
A.S. Byatt, A.A. Milne.

Who are your favourite poets?
Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot, William Blake and Charles Baudelaire.

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?
Nancy Drew and Tinkerbell.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My late dad and my 90-year-old mum.

Who is your favourite painter?
My daughter Bekky.

Who is your favourite musician?
My daughter Joey.

What is your favourite food?

What is your favourite drink?
Ginger tea.

What are your favourite names?
Beau and Moggie

What is it you most dislike?
Distilling the important stuff in life down to just a few words. (Though Twitter has its value…).

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
An operatic voice…

How do you want to die?
Feeling fulfilled.

What is your current state of mind?

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Raising my two beautiful daughters…

What is your motto?
Don’t be afraid. And never give up!


For more information about Strutting It! please visit the Tundra Books 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.

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