Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Proust Questionnaire, with Andrew Forbes - Open Book's May 2016 Writer-in-Residence!

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May 1, 2016 -

We are thrilled to announce that Andrew Forbes is our May 2016 writer-in-residence here at Open Book. Andrew is the author of The Utility of Boredom: Baseball Essays and the short story collection What You Need, both published by indie darling Invisible Publishing. His work has been nominated for the Journey Prize and published in journals and magazines across the country. Don't miss Andrew's posts throughout the month.

You can get to know Andrew through one of our favourite, and most personal, interviews — our version of the famous Proust Questionnaire. He tackles the quirky questionnaire, telling us about who writes the most beautiful sentences, his heroes both real and fictional, and his greatest accomplishment (it'll make you smile).


What is your dream of happiness?
Sleeping with the windows open.

What is your idea of misery?
Being stuck in construction traffic on the I-90 between Gary, Indiana and Chicago in murderous August heat in a car with no air conditioning.

Where would you like to live?
Next to a lake, among trees.

What qualities do you admire most in a man?
Tolerance, kindness, humility, capability.

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
As above.

What is your chief characteristic?
Is second-guessing a characteristic?

What is your principal fault?
All the things I've left undone.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Slow breakfasts.

What faults in others are you most tolerant of?
Those which arise out of their efforts to overcome, erase, forget, or medicate away pain.

What do you value most about your friends?

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?
Exclusionary thinking.

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?

What is your favourite virtue?

What is your favourite occupation?
Radio play-by-play announcer.

What would you like to be?

What is your favourite colour?
The green of new grass.

What is your favourite flower?

What is your favourite bird?
The common loon.

What historical figure do you admire the most?
Martin Luther King, Jr.

What character in history do you most dislike?
Trump, who cannot be consigned to history soon enough.

Who are your favourite prose authors?
Fitzgerald wrote the best sentences; Alice Munro offers the greatest emotional insight.

Who are your favourite poets?
Walt Whitman, Hank Williams, Neko Case.

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?
The flawed ones.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Outsiders and ballplayers.

Who is your favourite painter?
Dorothy MacKinnon (my maternal grandmother).

Who is your favourite musician?
John Coltrane.

What is your favourite food?

What is your favourite drink?
The answer to this depends on the time of day: if morning, strong coffee with cream, no sugar. If night: cold beer.

What are your favourite names?
My childrens': Adelaide, Theodore, Cormac.

What is it you most dislike?

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
An effortless jumpshot.

How do you want to die?
Without my knowledge.

What is your current state of mind?

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Raising three kids who say “thank you” (a work in progress).

What is your motto?
“Nothing worth doing ever came easy.”

Andrew Forbes’s work has been nominated for the Journey Prize, and has appeared in The Feathertale Review, Found Press, PRISM International, The New Quarterly, Scrivener Creative Review, This Magazine, Hobart, The Puritan, All Lit Up, The Classical, and Vice Sports. He is the author of What You Need, a collection of fiction, and The Utility of Boredom: Baseball Essays. He lives in Peterborough, Ontario.

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