25th Trillium Award

The War Series: Writers as Readers, with Amanda Leduc

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Amanda Leduc

The WAR Series (Writers as Readers) is our newest interview series at Open Book, and gives writers an opportunity to talk about the books that shaped them, from first loves to new favourites.

Andrew Pyper has described Hamilton writer Amanda Leduc's debut novel, The Miracles of Ordinary Men (ECW Press), as "fantastic realism...like a waking dream." This is a wholly original and spellbinding novel that plunges the reader into a plausible shadow world, where a man who's begun to sprout wings from his back finds his odd new life entangled with that of the mysterious and compelling Lilah.

Today Amanda tells us how a stay at Sick Kids Hospital when she was five became an opportunity for her first marathon reading session, and how she hasn't stopped reading since. Amanda will launch The Miracles of Ordinary Men at Toronto's Ben McNally Books on Wednesday, May 8th. Visit Open Book: Toronto's Events page for more details.


The WAR Series, Writers as Readers

The first book I remember reading on my own: The Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was five, and a patient at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, and my mother started reading Little House in the Big Woods to me because I was bored. By the time I left the hospital two months later, I?d finished the entire collection on my own.

A book that made me cry: Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed. I started crying on the second page and by the time I finished it a few hours later, I?d cried hard enough to give myself a tension headache.

The first adult book I read: According to my mother, this would be any one of the Sweet Valley High books that I snuck out of the school library when I was ten. In actuality, it?s probably Lolita, which I also read for the first time when I was around that age, and which I?m sure we?ll all agree is even more adult than Sweet Valley High.

A book that made me laugh out loud: Trevor Cole?s Practical Jean.

The book I have re-read many times: Arundhati Roy?s The God of Small Things. Every time I pick it up I feel like the language has changed since last I knew it — become even richer, even more tinged with scent and colour. And the end! It gets me every single time.

A book I feel like I should have read, but haven't: Anna Karenina. Also: Pride and Prejudice, A Tale Of Two Cities, Ulysses, and On The Road. There are more, but I should probably refrain from mentioning them in favour of preserving whatever readerly cred I might have left.

The book I would give my seventeen year old self, if I could: Tiny Beautiful Things. It?s full of great wisdom for people of any age, but I think it would have spoken to me in a particularly special way had it been around when I was seventeen.

The best book I read in the past six months: A Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan.

The book I plan on reading next: The Juggler?s Children, by Carolyn Abraham.

A possible title for my autobiography: Wanderlusty.

Amanda Leduc is a writer from Hamilton, ON. She is one of the co-creators of Bare It For Books, a calendar featuring nearly-nude Canadian authors, which will be sold this fall, with proceeds going to PEN Canada. ECW Press will launch her first novel, The Miracles of Ordinary Men in Toronto at Ben McNally Books on May 8th, 2013.

For more information about The Miracles of Ordinary Men please visit the ECW Press website.

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

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