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Q&A: C.S. Richardson

richardson_cs.jpgTo celebrate this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist, we asked each longlisted author a series of questions to help us gain insight into their work and their thoughts on the craft of writing. Here we have C.S. Richardson, author of The Emperor of Paris.

Q: What inspired you to write The Emperor of Paris?

A: Among many whats: a photograph (taken by Robert Doisneau) of a man on the Pont des Arts, peering intently over the shoulder of a painter working en plein air at an easel. And a where: I'd always wanted to try my hand at setting a novel in Paris.
Q: What would you say is at the core of it?

A: The power of imagination, the wonder of books, the miracles of happenstance.
Q: If your book was being made into a movie, who would be your dream director?

A: Baz Luhrmann, Jean-Pierre Jeunet or Christopher Nolan, because each has done Paris so well. More, please.
Q: Which Scotiabank Giller Prize-longlisted book (other than your own!) would you most like to see take home the prize?

A: Kim Thúy's Ru.
Q: Where is the absolute best place for you to write?

A: I call it my studio. My family calls it the TV room, or the spare room, or the room where we put stuff when we don't know where else to put stuff.
Q: Is there a specific subject matter, event or location close to your heart that you would love to write about in the future?

A: Italy, specifically Rome.
Q: What book has moved or affected you most in the past year?

A: Three actually: The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago, Train Dreams by Denis Johnson, the aforementioned Ru.
Q: What is one insight into the craft of writing or the writing life that you wish you'd known much earlier?

A: That it is work, and is infinitely harder than it looks.

More longlist Q&As


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