Anne Sorbie on Memoir of a Good DeathAuthor Interviews Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
Book Club Buddy: What do you think readers will find most notable about Memoir of a Good Death?
Anne Sorbie: In an immediate sense, readers have said that the title and the cover are huge draws which invite them to consider a topic that they might not otherwise choose to read about! They’ve said the title is interesting and controversial, and that the image is stunning and beautiful. It is a photograph by Toronto photographer, Barbara Cole (www.barbaracole.com), from her underwater series, and it’s called “Flutter Kick.”
BCB: Have you acquired any good anecdotes surrounding this book? If so, could you share one?
Anne Sorbie: Quite a number of reader anecdotes! Especially those related to the final pages! But. The best is about when Noah Richler asked me to read the climactic scene at WordFest 15 in Calgary (October 2010). I immediately blurted “NO!” Then I had a deja vu because I had suggested the very same thing to writer friend. To put his question in context, Richler had also asked Emma Donoghue, Drew Hayden Taylor and Catherine Govier to read pieces that he’d selected from their books. For all of us it meant reading sections in the fireside-chat style session that we had not prepared. Richler took me aside and went on to say that he thought the scene was an example of a remarkable piece of writing. I took a deep breath and looked at the others, who are of course very experienced writers; they had all agreed to do what he asked.
I was the last reader up! At the end of the session I read the climactic scene (which begins on page 250) and the audience reaction is something that I will never forget! Since then I have read it at a number of readings in Alberta and BC, and at the 2011 Galiano Literary Festival. Every audience reaction was explosive! I think the moral of the story is, if Noah Richler asks you to do something somewhat odd in an interview / reading…do it!
BCB: Can you suggest one question readers might find interesting to discuss, concerning you, your writing in general, or this book?
Anne Sorbie: Yes! The best and most provocative book club question to date is: “Which is the good death?” It has sparked significant and heated discussions because the book contains a number…literal and metaphorical!
BCB: How can readers help you promote this book?
Anne Sorbie: The best thing readers can do is tell others (far and wide) exactly what they think about Memoir of a Good Death! Their engagement with the story, their personal reactions are what matter most!
About Anne Sorbie
BCB: Why do you write?
Anne Sorbie: I write because I want to share what I believe is a gift!
BCB: What is your greatest strength as a writer?
Anne Sorbie: Telling, as Robert Kroetsch put it, a wickedly good story!
BCB: What quality do you most value in yourself?
Anne Sorbie: Compassion.
Read more about Memoir of a Good Death
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