Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Danila Botha

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Danila Botha is a fiction writer based in Toronto. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, she has lived in Ra’anana, Israel, and in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her first collection of short stories, Got No Secrets (Tightrope Books, 2010) was praised by the Globe and Mail, the Chronicle Herald, and the Cape Town Times. It was also named one of Britannica’s Books of the Year (Canadian short stories) in 2011, and was published in South Africa (Modjaji Books, 2011). Danila has guest-edited the National Post’s “The Afterword,” and her short stories have appeared in Broken Pencil Magazine, Douglas Glover’s Numero Cinq Magazine, Joyland and more. Her first novel, the critically acclaimed Too Much on the Inside was published by Quattro Books in June 2015. She will be teaching at the Humber School for Writers in the correspondence program in 2017. She is currently working on her second novel and a new collection of short stories.

You can write to Danila throughout the month of September at

On Writing, with Danila Botha

We're excited to introduce our September 2016 writer-in-residence, Danila Botha, author of For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known (Tightrope Books). Known for crafting complex, emotionally nuanced characters and stories, Danila is an exciting young writer we're thrilled to have on Open Book. For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I've Known has been praised as reading "like Chekhov by way of Kathy Acker but utterly original" and called "truthful and dreamy, tough and tremulous; sad and aching, seductively, with hope" by acclaimed author Lynn Crosbie.

For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I've Known

By Danila Botha

From Tightrope Books:

In For All The Men (and Some of The Women) I’ve Known, Danila Botha explores the nuances and complexity of relationships, from love to betrayal. In these eighteen unforgettable stories, Botha creates characters so authentic, readers are convinced that they know them personally. As in her debut collection, Got No Secrets, Botha excels at blending literary techniques with popular zeitgeist. With her trademark honest and singular voice, Botha exposes the desire for human connection above all things. The collection is hopeful, fearless, and utterly relatable.

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

The Joys Of Being on Book Tour

Hi Open Book Readers,

I really love touring. I love doing readings, and I try to do as many as I can.
So far, for For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, I’ve read at Resonance Reading Series in Montreal, and I just had a chance this weekend to read at Word on The Street in Halifax, and to do a signing at Chapters Indigo in Bayer’s Lake, also in Halifax, the next day. They were incredibly wonderful experiences.
I’m really excited for the Toronto launch on September 28th.
I love travelling to new places, I love meeting other writers and readers, who are just as excited about connecting over a shared love of words and books.

Interview with Zoe Whittall: A Conversation About Writing, Characterization and Empathy With One of my Literary Heroes

Zoe Whittall is one of my literary heroes. I remember the day that I discovered her first book, the feeling of relief and excitement as I read each page. I was studying Creative Writing, and feeling depressed about how different my writing was to everything we were reading in class. I discovered her first collection of poetry, The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (MCG Books, 2001) at Pages Bookstore on Queen St, and I was so inspired. Zoe’s writing was so singular and confident, so refreshingly honest, energetic and full of insight.

Interview with Jowita Bydlowska on writing fiction, her literary inspirations and her new novel, Guy

Jowita Bydlowska is one of the most exciting writers in Canada. Her first book, Drunk Mom (Penguin, 2012)is a beautifully written, fearless and deeply introspective memoir about motherhood and overcoming addiction. Her wonderful first novel, Guy (which will be published by Wolsak and Wynn this October) is subversive, fiercely intelligent and funny.
I was lucky enough to get to read one of the first drafts, and I remember staying up until 2:00 am to finish it, because I couldn’t tear my eyes away from my computer screen.

Excerpt from For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I've Known

Hi Open Book Readers,

I want to share one of the short stories from For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I've Known.
The book is divided into sections: Meeting, Falling In, Falling Out, Friendship and Resolution.
This story appears in the Falling Out Section.
If I had to describe it, I would say it's about social expectation versus reality, and also, why people decide to stay.
It's also about consent, and guilt, and how unclear the line between the two can sometimes appear.

Interview with Amy Jones: Ideas, Characters and the Importance of Representing Northern Ontario in Literature

Amy Jones’ We’re All In This Together (M&S, 2016) is a remarkable debut novel. Featuring an idiosyncratic family of characters who are vulnerable, at times hilarious, and always completely believable, it’s a must read (and trust me, when you do, you won’t be able to put it down) Amy’s writing has always been spectacular. Her award winning collection of short stories, What Boys Like (Biblioasis, 2009) is the perfect mix of social observation, raw emotion and expert descriptions of Nova Scotia.
We had a chance to talk about characterization, her writing process, and the importance of representing Northern Ontario in literature.

Interview with Megan Coles, on Writing, Feminism and Language

Megan Coles’ debut collection of short stories, Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome, is one of the most exciting books I’ve read this year. It has won multiple awards, including a Relit award. Megan is also the co-founder and artistic director of Poverty Cove Theatre Company and the executive director of Newfoundland arts journal Riddle Fence. She is currently working on her debut novel, Little Yellow Heart, which will be published by House of Anansi next year.
We got to talk this week about writing, Newfoundland culture, feminism and more, and like her characters, Megan was brilliant, thoughtful and incredibly honest.

Interview with Chad Pelley

Chad Pelley is one of my favourite writers. We first met at Word on the Street in Halifax, in 2010, when he was touring for his impressive debut novel, Away From Everywhere (Breakwater Books, 2009) and I was touring for my first short story collection, Got No Secrets (Tightrope Books, 2010). Since then, Away From Everywhere has been made into a movie, and he’s written another great novel, Every Little Thing (Breakwater, 2013) and an excellent collection of short stories called Four Letter Words (Breakwater, 2016). We had a chance to chat this week about Four Letter Words, the process of writing short stories, and more.

Hello Open Book Readers!

I’m incredibly happy to be this month’s Writer in Residence.
I’m so honoured to join the list of writers whose work I love, who’ve been writers in residence in the past.
The timing is perfect because my new book, a collection of short stories called For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known will be published this month by Tightrope Books.

For All the Men… is my second collection of short stories (my first was called Got No Secrets, and it was published in 2010) My first novel, Too Much on the Inside, was published last year.

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.