Finding the Words
Writers on Inspiration, Desire, War, Celebrity, Exile, and Breaking the Rules
By Jared Bland
(Emblem Editions, Paperback, 9780771013690, 328pp.)
Publication Date: February 15, 2011
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Celebrated writers reveal surprising truths about the joys, challenges, and importance of finding the words, in this special fundraising anthology for PEN Canada.
In Finding the Words, thirty-one well-known writers share deeply personal discoveries and stories that will surprise, delight, and stir the mind and heart. By turns inspiring, provocative, witty, and compelling, these diverse and original pieces explore home, exile, and the search for a place to belong; community, creativity, celebrity, and the many forms power can take.
Among the pieces in the anthology: Diana Athill and Alice Munro discuss the consequences of writing about other people; Gord Downie meditates on what it means to be a songwriter by considering one of his own songwriting heroes; Guy Gavriel Kay reflects on how his relationship with his own readers continues to change; Elizabeth Hay searches for inspiration in the fallow period between books; Rawi Hage meditates on writing rooted in the universal experience of exile; Pasha Malla and Moez Surani present a funny and confounding list of “rules for writers” solicited from non-writers; Heather O’Neill tells the story of an illiterate and underage wannabe gangster in mid-century Montreal; Michael Winter pieces together court transcripts, newspaper accounts, and other primary sources to take us into the dark heart of a real-life Newfoundland crime story.
Proceeds from this volume will go to PEN Canada in support of its vital work in defence of freedom of expression and on behalf of writers around the world who have been silenced.
Finding the Words Contributors List:
Alain de Botton
Stacey May Fowles
Guy Gavriel Kay
Martha Kuwee Kumsa
With cover design and illustration by Seth
JARED BLAND is the managing editor of The Walrus and sits on the board of directors of PEN Canada. His writing has appeared in The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, and Toronto Life. He lives in Toronto.