Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Literary Holiday Parties

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December is a month of gatherings: of office parties and hangovers laced with the dull thud of regret; of family reunions with drunken uncles mollified by carb- and turkey-induced drowsiness; of doorbells ringing, and leftover, hoarded stuffing, and sitting around tables and hearths and Starbuckses with loved ones and relations and frenemies.  

All this gathering takes a lot of planning. I’ve been doing some planning of my own, and asking writers, and editors and publishing types this question:

You’re having an imaginary literary holiday dinner, and can invite any - and as many as you like - living, dead, fictional, literary figures. Who do you invite, and why?

I’m a fan of welcoming holiday orphans to dinner – those whose families may be an expensive plane ticket away. I’ve also been working on a novel for a few years about the shenanigans of a few fake orphans. So, for my literary party, I would invite all my favourite literary orphans. (I'm leaving out the authors - they'll come to my NYE party.)                                

Brooding Heathcliff would smolder, lurking around the pâté, while Cinderella would limp around, one-shoed, trying to get his attention. Pip and David Copperfield would stiffly pull Christmas crackers and seethe in unspoken sibling rivalry. Anne Shirley would trap Mowgli under the mistletoe, accepting an awkward kiss and calling him her "kindred spirit". Huckleberry Finn would be in the basement trying, unsuccessfully, to outdrink Superman.

I’d put Harry Potter in charge of the kids’ table, much to his chagrin (especially since I would let Peter Pan hang with the grownups). He’d seethe in silent resentment as Little Orphan Annie babbled on about Daddy Warbucks, and as pale Cosette ignored all attempts at polite conversation, whispering only to her brightly painted doll.

Who would you invite to your literary holiday party?

Watch this space for answers from our very own literary figures in the coming weeks!


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.

Related item from our archives

Sachiko Murakami

Sachiko Murakami is the author of the poetry collections The Invisibility Exhibit (Talonbooks, 2008), a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Rebuild (Talonbooks, 2011). She lives in Toronto.

Go to Sachiko Murakami’s Author Page