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An Interview with Andrew F. Sullivan

AFSullivan1Interview by Kim McCullough

Even before Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize win, short stories were making news. Short fiction requires a different approach to writing, and I was interested to speak to some of amazing new voices on the short story scene to find out how they take on the sometimes-daunting task of writing in the short form.

Andrew F. Sullivan, author of the breakout short story collection All We Want is Everything was kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions about the writing life, and his take on craft of writing short stories.

Thank you to Andrew for taking the time to answer the following questions.

All We Want is Everything has received many accolades since its release, including making the Globe and Mail’s Top 100 Books of the Year list. The stories are sharp and beautiful, like broken glass; in your characters, you’ve touched on their ‘realness’ and their daily struggle to make something meaningful of their worlds. I often tell my students to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. You do this, and do it well.

A few questions for you. 

Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your day job? (if you’re comfortable sharing) How do you fit writing into your schedule? 

No, there is no way I could afford to be a full-time writer, but I have benefited from some generous grant programs in Canada, especially the Ontario Arts Council. As a young writer, it has been extremely helpful and heartening to have that support, especially with the kind of fiction I write. I make room for writing after I finish my shift and before I sleep. I make room when I have stories to tell, but it is something I try to do on a consistent basis. It is a personal choice from writer to writer – there is no real rule. But you do have to do it – you have to stay in practice. You start slipping, letting things slide, taking the easy way out of a story if you aren’t working on your stuff consistently. And then the editing… that’s the real writing. Continue reading An Interview with Andrew F. Sullivan

Review of Life Is About Losing Everything by Lynn Crosbie


Life Is About Losing Everything by Lynn Crosbie
Anansi, 2012
348 pages
reviewed by Jennifer Spruit

Lynn Crosbie’s latest book took me down into everything I don’t want to have to think too hard about and exploded it into a kaleidoscope, its small beautiful pieces jostling with each other and shifting to make magic. The narrative is subtle – the bliss of youth when everything was whole against a pop culture that tells us the middle-aged are irrelevant – and follows the author through disastrous loves and drug addiction and into something more than that. While there is a danger of this book catering to the mad artist trope, it in no way diminishes the effect. This book is profoundly about feeling, about the ability to sit still with emotions and moments that could crush us and face them strong.

As this is not a typical memoir, I offer an atypical review. Continue reading Review of Life Is About Losing Everything by Lynn Crosbie