"I’m currently writing a novel set in the Cold War era, all paranoia and double-dealing, so this is the kind of research that makes my job endlessly interesting"
—Margaret Sweatman, author
Prairie Fire's Winter Word Fest features prairie writers reading and giving lectures for all who are interested in the written word.
It kicks off on Monday March 5 at 7 p.m. with a reading at McNally Robinson. Writers featured include Elizabeth Philips, Mari-Lou Rowley and Margaret Sweatman of Winnipeg.
Margaret Sweatman is the author of Fox, Sam and Angie, When Alice Lay
Down with Peter, and The Players. She lives and writes in Winnipeg
among her family, and teaches at The University of Winnipeg.
SCENE asked Margaret Sweatman to tell us what 's at the top of her reading pile.
Publisher Random House
I've been reading, and rereading, John Le Carré
's novel from 1974, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
. It has a night-vision feel to it, and a sense of what Le Carré
calls "failed magic" in the collapse of the Cold War
He's one of the best portraitists I know, and in this novel he writes almost countless cameos of English "types," wonderfully distinct characters who drop in with their furtive, partial disclosures, their clues and deceits, all contributing to the agony of that highly ethical, morally compromised, fat spy, George Smiley.
I'm currently writing a novel set in the Cold War era, all paranoia and double-dealing, so this is the kind of research that makes my job endlessly interesting. And I normally read very fast, but Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
took me ages to get through, and I often had no idea what was going on (though I knew right off who was the "mole" and I haven't even seen the movie), which makes it one of my most peculiar favourite books. Keep SCENE bookmarked as one of your favorites. Later this week we'll bring you some writing tips from some of the Prairie Fire Wordfest authors.