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Heard & Overheard: BookFest Windsor 2007 edition

Windsor, Ontario, held its sixth BookFest from Nov. 2-4, bringing together more than 40 authors and speakers, including Lawrence Hill, the University of Windsor’s own Alistair MacLeod, Emma Donoghue, Gil Adamson, and more (including this Quillblogger), for readings and panel discussions. Herewith a couple of tidbits:

“I really wanted to write an erotic novel.” – Eden Robinson on the unlikely genesis of her gritty, torture-heavy novel Blood Sports.

“The title change initially infuriated me…. They had promised to use the title but were running into difficulties getting it to market. [Using ‘negro’ is] really fighting words these days – although it’s highly pejorative in Canada, in the United States it’s downright incendiary.” – Lawrence Hill on the American publisher changing the title of his novel from The Book of Negroes to Someone Knows My Name.

“They tinted one of them, but a friend of mine says the brown one just looks very Californian.” – Emma Donoghue on the cover graphic for her novel Landing; the  illustration shows two hands touching, but although the novel is about an interracial relationship, in the original image both hands were white.

“Something I keep in mind is that Kafka – that barrel of laughs – had written above his desk, ‘Is this novel necessary?'” – Alistair MacLeod on inspiration. (And on his writing method, MacLeod explained that he writes one sentence at a time, revises it, and then proceeds, never doing further drafts once each sentence is done. And about halfway through a story, he writes the final sentence to give himself direction.)