The Biblio File Hosted by Nigel Beale
Twenty - forty minute interviews with accomplished authors, publishers, biblio people, conducted by an excitable bibliophile.

Terry Griggs is the author of a collection of short stories, Quickening, which was nominated for a Governor General’s Award, and two novels, The Lusty Man, and Rogues’ Wedding, shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award. She has also written two books for children, Cat’s Eye Corner, shortlisted for a Mr. Christie’s Book Award and a Red Cedar Award, and most recently a sequel, The Silver Door. In 2003 she received the Marian Engel Award. Born on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, she currently lives in Stratford, Ontario.

We met recently in Ottawa to talk about her latest ‘farce noir’ comic mystery novel, Thought you were Dead,  and, as a result about: cartoons, dead flies, Nabokov, Pnin’s zany, self-mocking speech and ways, fending off intimacy, how comedy sharpens your judgment, wordplay, names and book titles, the male-female divide, ambiguity, contained chapters, Philip Larkin, naked women on book covers, and The Monkeys’ Michael Nesmith’s mother who invented liquid paper.

Please listen here:

Direct download: Terry_Griggs.mp3
Category:Author Interview -- posted at: 1:53pm EDT

Karl Siegler is a founding member of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia and the Literary Press Group of Canada; he has served as president of the Association of Canadian Publishers twice, and was one of the founding members of the Simon Fraser Centre for Studies in Publishing and its Masters in Publishing Program. He’s also the publisher at Talonbooks.

Talonbooks has published Canadian poetry and drama since the publishing house was established in 1963. According to some dated, but I’m sure currently applicable stats from the Canada Council the average Canadian drama title sells 594 copies during its first two years in print, the average poetry title sells 405 copies.

Karl and I talk here first about the role of a literary publisher, then about how Talon has managed to stay in business for over forty years,  and finally about constituencies and the title he is most proud of publishing. Please listen here:

 Copyright © 2009 by Nigel Beale.

Direct download: Karl_Seigler_Talon_Books_800908_01.mp3
Category:Book Publishers -- posted at: 10:56am EDT

Ha Jin was born in China in 1956. After Tiananmen Square, he emigrated to the United States. Unlike most exiled writers Ha Jin was not established in his native language; he had no audience in Chinese, and so chose to write in English.
He has published three collections of poetry, including Between Silences and Facing Shadows, and three collections of short fiction, Ocean of Words, received the PEN/Hemingway Award, and Under the Red Flag, won the Flannery O’Connor Award. His novel Waiting won the National Book Award for fiction as well as the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999. In 2004, he published War Trash, which also won the PEN/Faulkner Award.  He lives in the Boston area and is a professor of English at Boston University.

We met recently in Ottawa to talk about his first book of non-fiction The Writer as Migrant (University of Chicago Press). Adapted from The Rice University Campbell Lecture he delivered in 2006, the book consists of  three interconnected essays exploring the experience of migrant,  ‘exiled’ writers in relation to their ‘home’ countries and languages.  Alexander Solzhenitsyn,  Lin Yutang, Homer, Joseph Conrad , Vladimir Nabokov and others all contribute to the conversation. Please listen here:

Direct download: Ha_Jin.mp3
Category:Author Interview -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

This past Spring at the Blue Met Writers Festival, Donald Antrim conducted a workshop entitled: Fiction and Memoir: "Writing Ourselves" It was designed to explore the ‘challenging and often frustrating process of reading into one’s own work;’ and to identify aspects of that work which may have been underdeveloped, unnoticed, or even, avoided. As the syllabus put it:

"Fiction and memoir are not, as a rule, brought together in workshops. And yet many of the concerns that are most important to all of us—the technical production of form; the experience of psychological drive within the narrative; and the tangible-seeming, built-from-scratch, moral or immoral world our characters inhabit—are experienced by writers of fiction and memoir. Whatever we write, we may all have cause to wonder about the overt and the embedded evidence of our own experiences, even in works in which autobiographical material is scrupulously occluded. Perhaps, in opening the class to writers of non-fiction and fiction, there will be a fruitful exchange."

Donald Antrim is the author of three novels, Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World: A Novel, The Hundred Brothers and The Verificationist: A Novel. His latest publication is The Afterlife (2006). He lives in Brooklyn, New York. We talked about workshops in general, and what happened in Montreal specifically. Please listen (may have to crank it a bit) here:

Direct download: Donald_Antrim_09.mp3
Category:Author Interview -- posted at: 9:50am EDT