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Farzana Doctor on Six Metres of Pavement

Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana DoctorAbout Six Metres of Pavement

BookClubBuddy: What do you think readers will find most notable about this book?

Farzana Doctor: Readers have told me that the novel’s depth of emotion has made the characters relatable and memorable. There’s no greater honour than hearing that readers have continued caring about the characters long after they’ve finished reading the book.

BCB: Did researching and writing this book teach you anything or influence your thinking in any way?

Farzana Doctor: Because I’m not Portuguese, I wanted to learn as much as I could about Portuguese Canadians in order to make Celia (the widow who lives across the street from the Ismail, the protagonist) believable. In doing so, I came to appreciate my neighbourhood, Little Portugal, even more than before.

Also, writing Ismail’s character helped me understand that the way any of us survive tragedy is through relationships. He needed to be jolted out of his inertia through the complications and messy feelings his relationships evoked.

BCB: What would you most like readers to tell others about this book?

Farzana Doctor: That this book, while being about a tragedy, is actually about survival and redemption. Its both funny and sad. I’d love it if readers recommended it to their friends!

BCB: Can you suggest one question readers might find interesting to discuss, concerning you, your writing in general, or this book?

Farzana Doctor: One of the themes of this book is neighbourhoods, and the ways in which they can facilitate diverse people to meet and influence one another’s lives. Have readers experienced this themselves?

BCB: How can readers help you promote this book?

Farzana Doctor: Tell two (or twenty) friends. Personal recommendations influence my book choices.

Farzana Doctor author photo

Photo by Peter Rehak

About You

BCB: Why do you write?

Farzana: Because it feels “wrong” when I don’t and “right” when I do. I get awfully glum if other work takes me too far away from my writing.

BCB: What is your greatest strength as a writer?

Farzana: I’ve come to realize that writing is really rewriting. I edit compulsively. I did fourteen full edits of Six Metres of Pavement.

BCB: In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

Farzana: I’m also an activist and psychotherapist, both of which I find interesting and rewarding. People have asked me whether I would like to give up my other work to focus exclusively on writing, but I don’t think I will, at least not for a long time.

BCB: What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

Farzana: I’ve just learned that I am the recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s  Dayne Ogilvie Grant. It’s a huge honour.

BCB: Is there any new or established author whom you feel deserves more attention, and what is it that strikes you about his or her work?

Farzana: I recently read The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez. Its protagonist is an ex-slave African-American vampire. I’m not usually interested in this genre, but Gomez writes so deftly about loss, intimacy and history that I will pick up the sequel once it’s out.

Read more about Six Metres of Pavement

Farzana Doctor answers two questions for BookClubBuddy.com

Short URL: http://www.bookclubbuddy.com/?p=2410

Posted by Pearl on Jun 8 2011. Filed under Author Interviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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