“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.”
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.
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.
The United States, or America as many Americans refer to their country, lends itself to panorama, the large canvas. The size, diversity, wealth, power, fraught history — the extremes routinely provided by the country — present a challenge for any writer attempting to construct an essential narrative from that magnitude. For those who try, one approach is to gather a selection of characters, locales, and storylines, and interweave these multiple threads as they play out over an extended period of time, in the hope that from this representative selection will emerge the essence of a nation and an era. During the 1920s and 30s, John Dos Passos used this method in his novels, notably the U.S.A. trilogy, and Manhattan Transfer, and as George Packer told moderator Wayne Grady and the audience at UBC’s Frederic Wood Theatre during a well-attended Writers Festival event, Dos Passos “gave me a structure” when it came to forming the mass of material that would become The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.
What you don't know about Leonardo da Vinci that would make you love him even more
Or so goes the through line of Ross King's talk with Kirk Lapointe (Event #12) about his book "Leonardo and the Last Supper", which King lavished with such details as Leonardo's favourite colours, his weapons of mass destruction, his genius, his late-life vegetarianism, his handsome legs, and of course one of his renaissance-era jokes about two friars and a business man that somehow manages to remain timeless with King's droll and erudite delivery.