Prefaces & Afterwords

Welcome to the Prefaces & Afterwords, Q&A interviews with authors. Watch this space for our conversations with writers who will be featured in upcoming events.

An Onstage Conversation with Maggie Stiefvater

Chatting on stage solo with an author is a bit unnerving, but it is made even more so when the audience is mostly high school students. I am pulling double duty here, blogging about an event I did with bestselling author and YA sensation Maggie Stiefvater.  We chatted on stage for an hour, she pulled up some audience members to read from her new work, The Dream Thieves and we learned about her fear of the fog.  It was a good time.

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Anne Carson

An Hour with Anne Carson (Even 67) brought hundreds—of an impressively varied sort—to Performance Works. Carson, 63 and nearly unearthly at the podium in her large glasses and black outfit, is one of the most acclaimed poets alive on the planet and seems to touch us on multiple rungs: she’s a brainiac’s poet (replete with arcane references and mimicries of ancient Greek syntax); but she’s also a romantic’s poet. One reading—taken from her latest book, Red Doc>—described the red monster G. as he witnesses the death of his mother: “And the reason he cannot bear her dying is not the loss of her (which is the future) but that dying puts the two of them (now) into this nakedness together that is unforgivable. They do not forgive it. He turns away. This roaring air in his arms. She is released.”

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Drunk Mom

Event 47: Drunk Mom saw an older-mom-aged group of women (and even a few guys) crowd Studio 1398 on Friday morning to get a dose of everyone’s favourite medicine—the confessions of another. Author Jowita Bydlowska discussed her harrowing relapse following years of sobriety into a stretch of binge drinking and blackouts when she found herself spending days alone her newborn son. Bydlowska was sober throughout her pregnancy but, even while breastfeeding, found herself timing her drinking schedule so breast milk wouldn’t be tainted.

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"That girl that I was" - Moving memoirs at Event 49



I didn’t need a mother but I wanted to know who my mother was,” Priscilla Uppal candidly declared during In the Beginning (Event 49). When Uppal was seven years old her mother fled to Brazil. Her father had become a quadriplegic five years earlier. Twenty years later Uppal happened across her mother’s website. Uppal told the audience, “I was in shock and did what any writer would do, I immediately applied for funding.”

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An Hour With Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland
British Columbian author and visual artist Douglas Coupland is a hit name in bookstores inside Canada and out. Well-known for his apt-to-contemporary-life novels such as Generation X, JPod and Player One, he blends visual form and a unique voice for storytelling to explore the experiences of those in the internet generation. Having been thoroughly fascinated by Player One in a first-year course beforehand, I decided to pay a visit to the man behind the words as he described his newest novel: Worst. Person. Ever.

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