Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Proust Questionnaire, with Leigh Nash

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Leigh Nash

Leigh Nash is the author of Goodbye Ukulele (Mansfield Press). She is also one of the brains behind indie chapbook press The Emergency Response Unit and part of the crack team at Coach House Books.

In her answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Leigh Nash tells us about delicious extravagances, the appeal of the pelican and her dream of happiness.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature.


What is your dream of happiness?
Saying ‘I love you’ every day and meaning it.

What is your idea of misery?
Rush hour.

Where would you like to live?
Paris, France; and Toronto, I guess, because I haven’t left in over ten years.

What qualities do you admire most in a man?
Patience, kindness, humour.

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
I hold my men and women in the same esteem.

What is your chief characteristic?

What is your principal fault?

What is your greatest extravagance?
Delicious, stinky, ridiculously expensive cheeses.

What faults in others are you most tolerant of?
Poor correspondence.

What do you value most about your friends?

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?
The desire to please everyone.

What is your favourite virtue?

What is your favourite occupation?

What would you like to be?
A fly on the wall.

What is your favourite colour?

What is your favourite flower?
Wood violets.

What is your favourite bird?
Pelicans, for their awkward grace.

What historical figure do you admire the most?
Romeo Dallaire.

What character in history do you most dislike?
I try not to pick fights with history.

Who are your favourite prose authors?
Anne Hebert, Charles Dickens, Deborah Eisenberg, Thomas Pynchon.

Who are your favourite poets?
John Ashbery, Dara Wier, Robert Lowell.

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?
Harriet the Spy.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Who is your favourite painter?
Fred Deux and Cecile Reims.

Who is your favourite musician?
Fleetwood Mac.

What is your favourite food?
Moules frites.

What is your favourite drink?

What are your favourite names?

What is it you most dislike?
Wilfull ignorance.

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
To carry a tune.

How do you want to die?
In my sleep.

What is your current state of mind?

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Goodbye, Ukulele

What is your motto?
Another round!


For more information about Goodbye, Ukulele please visit the Mansfield website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check back for more Proust Questionnaires with Canada's literati in this latest series of interviews on Open Book.

Related item from our archives

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


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