25th Trillium Award

The WAR Series (Writers as Readers), with Melissa Hardy

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Melissa Hardy

The WAR Series (Writers As Readers) gives writers an opportunity to talk about the books that shaped them, from first loves to new favourites.

Melissa Hardy's new novel, Surface Rights, was published last month with Dundurn Press. A darkly humorous novel about loss, family and determination, Surface Rights is the story of a woman who thinks she has lost everything — until she discovers she has something left to fight for.

Melissa's WAR Series interview could actually be a list of essential reading for any book lover or writer, so if you're looking for books to add to your stack of holiday reading (or your wish list), you couldn't find a better selection.

The WAR Series, with Melissa Hardy

The first book I remember reading on my own:
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, age seven, in bed, under the covers, using a flashlight.

A book that made me cry:
The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott and the tragic outcome of Hari and Daphne?s love.

The first adult book I read:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I was in fifth grade. I had to ask my mother what ?rape? meant.

A book that made me laugh out loud:
A three-way tie between A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, I Don?t Like My Neck by Nora Ephron and anything by David Sedaris.

The book I have re-read many times:
Thomas Mann?s Magic Mountain. It may be my favorite novel.

A book I feel like I should have read, but haven't:
It used to be David Foster Wallace?s Infinite Jest, but I finally tackled that last year. Maybe Thomas Pynchon?s Gravity?s Rainbow?

The book I would give my 17-year-old self, if I could:
Annie Dillard?s Pilgrim at Tinker?s Creek. I could have used a little less romance and drama and a lot more quiet reflection. The problem is I wouldn?t have appreciated it then.

The best book I read in the past six months:
The Orphan Master?s Son by Adam Johnson. What a tour de force!

The book I plan on reading next:
Neil Gaiman?s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

A possible title for my autobiography:
Clinging to the Wreckage.

Melissa Hardy has published three novels and two collections of short stories, including Broken Road, The Uncharted Heart and A Cry of Bees. She has won the Journey Prize and been published in numerous journals, including The Atlantic, Exile and Descant. She lives in the village of Port Stanley, Ontario.

For more information about Surface Rights please visit the Dundurn Press website.

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

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