Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Chris Eaton

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Chris Eaton claims to be from Sackville, NB., although he has now lived in Toronto for nearly a dozen years. He is the author of two novels: the inactivist (Insomniac Press, 2003), which has already been required reading on two university courses, and The Grammar Architect (Insomniac Press, 2005), a "literary cover" of Thomas Hardy's A Pair of Blue Eyes. He also writes and performs music in the band Rock Plaza Central, who are currently working on a follow up to their critically acclaimed 2006 CD Are We Not Horses, a concept album about robotic horses who think they are real horses. His websites are and

Ten Questions with Chris Eaton


What was your first publication and where was it published?


Honestly, my first real publication was my first novel, the inactivist, with Insomniac Press in 2003. I don’t traditionally like writing short things. I get that fix from working with music. So I never went the traditional rout of sending out short stories to magazines. I let people read things as I’m writing, though. And on a few occasions before the inactivist, I was asked to write short stories for fledgling periodicals. All three of them went under before the issue came out, though.


Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.

the inactivist

By Chris Eaton

Set in a future where buying advertising space on children's teeth is not uncommon, the inactivist is the story of Kitchen, a guy who's given up trying. Nothing matters: work, romance, the world. His co-workers have even formed an Inactivist group to stop all change. Only when Kitchen meets Gage does he rethink the idea that "trying is for suckers."

A social satire of corporate North America, the inactivist is reminiscent of the novels of Chuck Palhaniuk and Douglas Coupland. Eaton's slick pacing and consummate storytelling skills are sure to please.

From the catalogue. Read more about the inactivist at the Insomniac Press website.

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

Junction Reads Reading Series featuring Anthony De Sa, Brent van Staalduinen, Marissa Stapley and Chris Eaton


Sunday, June 29, 2014 - 4:00pm


3030 Dundas Street West
3030 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON
M6P 1Z3


Anthony De Sa
Brent van Staalduinen
Marissa Stapley
Chris Eaton

A monthly prose reading series, hosted by Alison Gadsby on the last Sunday of every month (summer off). Presenting the best of published and emerging prose!

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.


3030 Dundas Street West
3030 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M6P 1Z3 43° 39' 55.7136" N, 79° 28' 13.2492" W

Book Launch for Chris Eaton's Chris Eaton, A Biography


Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 8:00pm


The Piston
937 Bloor St. W.
Toronto, ON
M6H 1L4


BookThug presents the Toronto solo launch of Chris Eaton, A Biography by Chris Eaton.

Author Misha Bower will also be reading. Musical guests Eons and Nick Taylor will perform.

Cover price TBA. Books will be available.

For more information, please click here.


The Piston
937 Bloor St. W.
Toronto, ON M6H 1L4 43° 39' 41.5008" N, 79° 25' 39.5472" W

Ain’t Too Proud To Beg: A Joyland Fundraiser


Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 8:00pm


268 Augusta Ave
Toronto, ON
M5T 2L9


Don't miss Ain’t Too Proud To Beg: A Joyland Fundraiser.

Presented with generous support from The Walrus, Kobo and Book Madam & Associates.

Running an international journal for short fiction is the most satisfying and fun job they have ever had but it also takes a little help from time to time. So please join them May 19 at Supermarket to raise money with a night of stage interviews, eBook launchings, and a raffle for a Kobo Reader.


Natalee Caple in conversation with Andrew Pyper:

Natalee Caple is the author How I Came To Haunt My Parents, a Joyland/ECW eBook and a forthcoming novel, In Calamity's Wake, from Harper Collins. Andrew Pyper is the author of several best selling novels, most recently The Guardians.


268 Augusta Ave
Toronto, ON M5T 2L9 43° 0' 0" N, 79° 0' 0" W

Something I found funny today

Reinforcing how Nitin has started his month of residency here with a much more intellectual approach than my own, I felt strangely compelled to return for at least one more blog just to post this link to a skit on Saturday Night Live. The Palin imitations are great, but this one (which i found while looking for the palin one online) actually had me laughing even harder:

My last day

September went a lot faster than I thought it would. But I guess that goes for the rest of the year, too. Did anyone else find that? 2008 will go down as the fastest on record, somewhere on the internet. Here, I guess. Perhaps it's because of the Hadron Collider. Fear not, however. They've apparently put tests on hold for a while.

Hopefully that's not a sign that they've already screwed things up beyond hope.

Word on the Street this year was pretty fun. I love playing and reading new work. But I never should have agreed to do the author signing afterward. Never do a signing three years after your last book came out. You just end up looking foolish beside Andrew Pyper and his brand new page-turner.

So, wait a second...

There ARE comments on this blog?! How come I never saw them before? And how come it seems like there are some on the right side of the page and then when I click on them, I only get to the comments about my music posting?

We should be talking, people!

Update on the whole Hadron Collider thing

Sorry. I've been finding it difficult to write anything in here the last few days. My mind has been wrapped up in a biography of Faulkner (which is horribly written but sometimes interesting) and the death of David Foster Wallace. Particularly, I watched an interview with Wallace in which he talks about the fear of not writing, or the worry. Most of the time, when he was supposed to be writing, he worried about not writing. Not worrying about what to say, but worrying about not doing it, even when he had the time to do it. Faulkner wrote like a fiend. Two of his novels were written in about a month and a half. And still he worried about not writing. That somehow he was still not producing enough, and when he had to write films for hollywood to pay the bills, it drove him crazy.

I like music

Just a list of bands I like a lot right now and highly recommend, that you may not have heard about, in no particular order:

Frightened Rabbit
We Are Jeneric
Gravity Wave
Wax Mannequin
Sunparlour Players
The Wheel
Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned
Sandro Perri
Timber Timbre
The Boy from ET

Probably forgetting a lot. Quite a few of them have links from our myspace page. I wish there were comments in this blog, so you could give some to me.

In Iowa City tonight. It's still recovering from the flooding from last June. Excited to be playing here again after the response we got last year.

This weekend, I went to Heaven

I don't think Colorado actually has a city called Heaven, although it does have a city named Purgatory. But this weekend my band, Rock Plaza Central, was invited to be part of the Monolith Festival near Denver and Boulder, in the famous "natural" amphitheatre of Red Rocks. As we looked out over the crowd, the mountain just gave away and you could see other mountains in the distance, and the city of Denver, or possibly Golden. Later at night, the lights from the cities was both breathtaking and disturbing.

If the world ends today, don't say I didn't tell you so.

Been watching this for a while and the day is finally here. It's funny, cos as a cold war kid, I never really felt any threat of the end of the world from nuclear war. Maybe because no one would ever bomb New Brunswick. But this has got me totally freaked out.

And you can use this to keep track of everything that's going down. (Someone keeps going in and actually changing my weblinks to real hyperlinks. Thanks for that. But it's important to note that the website for this second link is

Where did that photo come from?

Just looking at my profile photo, trying to figure out when that was taken and where it came from. I look like such a kid in it. I should probably replace it with something that more accurately represents the haggard man I have become. It's quite likely that the only place it exists is on the Internet. Or as a file on my computer, or Laura's, or someone else's. I was talking to a friend last night about a project called the Clock of the Long Now, which involves trying to create a clock in Norway that will continue to exist and run for 10,000 years. Instead of a minute hand and an hour hand, it will have a year hand and a century hand, and every millennium a cuckoo will come out. It's about thinking about things in the long term.

And VFest...

...was very fun. Thanks to everyone who came out and chatted with us afterward. Here are some pics from our set:

Why does everything with you and me have to be so political?

Are we really having another election? Before the American one?

And what is at risk, besides the arts, the environment, Canadians?

I'm not an overly political person. I tend to follow it as a curiosity, and I stay up all night watching the results roll in on just about everything (much how I only watch sporting events where something is at stake, like a playoff game, or a world championship), but I've never been one to get very "involved." I vote, which is perhaps more involvement than some. But I don't really take my participation into participaction territory.


So this is a strange weekend. In fact, it promises to be a strange month. A good friend of mine is visiting for the Toronto International Film Festival, so she's been bringing us to some of the private parties. Last night, at the after party for Bruce MacDonald's new Pontypool (based on Tony Burgess's book, Pontypool Changes Everything), I'm pretty sure I was sitting next to Atom Egoyan for a while. But I also thought I saw him on King Street the other day, incognito in a tshirt and jeans. Perhaps I'm projecting in some way.

Projecting a film maker...

Someone showed me this today, so I decided to input all my books, including my current project, and this blog. It takes allof the words, and puts the most frequent ones into a shape poem by size. Not surprisingly, the words "actually" and "quite" and "probably" come up a lot in this blog. It's a hangup of mine. And then there's that mammoth Internet!

Not Far From The Tree

I was asked several questions when approached to write this blog. But none was quite so difficult as a list of recommended websites. It's not that I'm internet illiterate or anything. I actually spend an inordinate amount of time here. But largely I'm on here doing research. I probably do way too much. Much more than I ever would have done without the internet. In fact, although this element of my writing actually predates the internet, especially as we know it, with me randomly sifting through sections of libraries, I probably wouldn't be able to go into quite as much detail or make as many coincidental links as the internet affords me. Recently I spent a day checking out lung diseases, home construction, well digging, chocolate, salt... I forget, really.

Dear Diary

I've never written a blog before.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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