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Canadian authors get inked

What do George Orwell, Dorothy Parker, and John Irving all have in common? A penchant for tattoos, according to an article posted on the website of Abebooks, the Victoria-based online book retailer.

The piece opens with a mildly scandalized lede “

Authors just don’t spring to mind as the most likely people to have tattoos. But authors are showing their tattoos in publicity shots, they are arriving at award ceremonies with tattoos clearly visible, and they are loud and proud about the words and images that adorn their bodies.

“ and goes on to reference a long list of tattoo-themed titles and trivia. Several tattooed Canadian authors are also mentioned, including Alissa York and vegan cookbook author Sarah Kramer (pictured above), who co-owns a tattoo shop in Victoria.

A surprising detail that emerges is the fact that John Irving, who’s novel Until I Find You features a tattoo artist as its protagonist, sports a maple-leaf design on his shoulder, reportedly as a tribute to his Canadian wife. (No word if Irving’s tattoo is accompanied by the slogan I Am Canadian.)

Seemingly more discerning is the aforementioned Kramer, who describes one of her several tattoos as follows:

I, for example, have the word unforgiven with a dagger through it. Its genesis started with the lyrics of a Go-Go’s song about unforgiving someone. For me, this tattoo gives me strength and reminds me that the choice I made to unforgive a certain person and remove them from my life was the right choice.