What could be more Canadian than the confluence of literature and hockey. I was in Midland, ON, earlier this week as part of IFOA Ontario, the International Festival of Authors' new road trip. As I hunkered down to do an on-stage interview with two wonderful writers of wildly variant styles and themes -- Canadian Miriam Toews, who needs no intro here, and Brit Sarah Hall, already multiply honoured and assuredly bound for more -- I could hear unmistakably icy sounds emanating from the adjoining hockey rink. It was oddly comforting -- and relaxing.
A night earlier, apparently, the readers were accompanied by the sounds of a tribute band called Almost Abba.
"Sure, and I'm almost Faulkner," quipped Scottish novelist James Meek.