ScotiaBank Gillers

Q&A with David Bezmozgis

CBC Books recently asked the shortlisted Scotiabank Giller Prize authors some questions about their literary inspirations. Here we have David Bezmozgis, the author of The Free World. To read an excerpt from his novel, click here.


Q: Pitch Canada your novel in three lines or less.

DB: Rome, 1978. A family of Soviet Jews who have escaped the U.S.S.R., stuck in limbo, wait for some Western country to accept them. Bickering, affairs, schemes, nostalgia, comic hijinks, major life decisions. Then Canada.

Q: What's your favourite bookish place in Canada?

DB: Newfoundland.

Q: Which Canadian author (alive or dead) would you most like to meet? Why?

DB: Leonard Cohen. I wrote him a ridiculous fan letter once. I'm still embarrassed. I'd like to make amends.

Q: Who is your favourite fictional character and why?

DB: Strangely, I don't think in terms of characters, but books.

Q: What would you be if you weren't a writer?

DB: If I knew, I might have done it. Can I choose professional baseball player?
Q: What book has moved or affected you most in the past year?

DB: Nabokov's Pnin.

Check out the responses from some of our other shortlisted authors below.

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