Friday, August 5, 2011

Our suggestions for Canadian airport writers-in-residence

by: Angela Hickman

After the announcement that Tony Parsons will be a writer-in-residence at Heathrow International Airport in London, England, we started thinking about our own airports and authors. The gig, if we’re modelling it off Heathrow, basically entails the author to spend seven days living in an airport hotel, wandering the terminals talking to travelers, and then publish a collection of seven short stories entitled, in Parsons’ case, Departures: Seven Stories from Heathrow.
It would be impossible to include everyone we’d like to, but here are our picks for the writers-in-residence we’d like to see in some of Canada’s airports:

St. John’s International Airport: Michael Crummey. Crummey was born in Newfoundland, raised in Labrador, and after some time outside of the province has since returned to make St. John’s his home, so he’s a man who’s done some traveling. Plus, if his novel Galore is any evidence, he would have some wild stories to tell travelers passing through.

Robert L. Stanfield International Airport (Halifax): Budge Wilson. Wilson has won numerous awards and has written books for children, young adults, and adults, so she’d be a hit with travelers. She also has a background in short stories, which would be an asset for churning out a seven-story collection.

Montreal-Trudeau International Airport: Nicholas Dickner. Dickner has a great sense of humour (or we assume he does, based on his writing) and his novels have been a hit in both French and English. Plus, his 2005 novel Nikolski was set in Montreal but involved a lot of travel, so we get the feeling he knows his way around an airport.

Pearson International Airport (Toronto): Margaret Atwood. We had to go with Atwood here because these days her name is all over the city. Plus, she’s internationally known and instantly recognizable, which would make her an incredible mingler in the departures lounge.

Calgary International Airport: Rudy Wiebe. Wiebe was born and raised in Saskatchewan before he moved to Calgary for his BA in 1956 and then travelled all over Europe. He has won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction twice, as well as taken home the Charles Taylor Prize, and we bet he has enough stories to entertain any traveler during a long stop-over.

Vancouver International Airport: Joy Kogawa. Kogawa has seen a lot in her time and would be able to offer an interesting perspective on the city and how it has changed. She has written novels, poetry, and children’s books, so her hypothetical short story collection might have a little something for everyone.

from: National Post

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