When one of my favourite writers, Kazuo Ishiguro, won the Nobel Prize for Literature earlier this month, I was reminded of the two worlds I inhabit: business and writing. In part this is because two of Ishiguro’s novels, Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, each juxtapose at least two worlds, with breathtaking emotional effect and power. In Remains… Read More The serious business of fiction
Over the last couple months, in between enjoying some fiction and working on my third novel (the second is with the publisher) I’ve read three literary biographies: the first sufficiently workmanlike to allow me to fill in the blanks and the other two delightful: Joseph Conrad: A Biography by Jeffrey Meyers; John le Carré: The Biography… Read More Talent, Effort, Experience, Luck
What do you write? Whatever I can’t get out of my mind. More often than not I find myself trying to make sense of what it’s like to be alive in the early twenty-first century. This most often takes the form of novels, poems, and essays. My poems are about anything. Increasingly the novels I’m writing… Read More Old-fashioned self-interview
Write what I have to, not what I want to.
My favourite gift to receive for Chanukah or Christmas, both of which we celebrate at home, is a book. Thanks to my wife Kara for this year’s wonderful choice of US National Book Award winner Charles Johnson’s The Way of the Writer. Part memoir, part how-to manual, part philosophical meditation from a writer and a… Read More “The Way of the Writer”
Character trumps language. Language trumps plot. Plot trumps setting, unless setting is a character.
Following are my remarks in acceptance of the 2016 Poetry Vine Award for Canadian Literature September 29, 2016 Toronto, Ontario Good afternoon. It’s wonderful to be here with you today. Some of you may be wondering what a nice Jewish book of poetry is doing with such a non-obviously poetic cover. I’ll come to… Read More The Jewish Literary Tradition