If you could invite any memoirist, non-fiction writer, or biographer (living or dead) to dinner...
1) Who would it be?
2) What would you serve them?
3) What would you want to ask them?
Everyone who submits an answer will be entered in a weekly random draw for a Loblaws gift card, courtesy of Loblaws, and the draw for our grand prize of an 16GB Wi-Fi Apple iPad. We'll also be rounding up some of your most thoughtful or creative responses in a weekly post.
And to help kick off our contest in grand fashion, here we have 2011 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize finalist and current prize juror Charlotte Gill, author of Eating Dirt, answering the questions!
If you could invite any memoirist, non-fiction writer, or biographer, (living or dead) to dinner: Who would it be?
Without a doubt, it would be the late, great David Foster Wallace. I'm a big fan of his essays even though he is better known for his colossal works of fiction. His book, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again is a masterwork of hilarity, perceptiveness, and vivid, experiential detail. (The "supposedly fun thing," by the way, is a luxury cruise gone all kinds of wrong.)
What would you serve them?
From reading Wallace's work, I gather he wasn't the most adventurous of eaters. For recalcitrant dinner cases, I make chicken marbella, an old standby from TheSilver Palate cookbook. It involves baked chicken (safe, comforting) with an unusual twist (olives and prunes!), and yet everybody loves it, almost without fail.
What would you want to ask them?
I'm quite sure I'd be too terrified to pry into his private creative life. DFW could discuss erudite matters of grammar and literary history while chewing tobacco. By most reports, he was a man of contradictions. So, how could he not be the most fascinating of guests?