Monday May 29, 2017
How Michael Ondaatje's memoir inspired Bethlehem Gebreyohannes to write about her own life
more stories from this episode
- Why novelist Pasha Malla is challenging the way we tell stories
- Why Sarah Slean is inspired by the power of common interests
- The book that reminds David Alexander Robertson of Manitoba
- Why Lenore Rowntree and Lynne Van Luven want to talk about mental illness
- How writing helped Wilma Derksen forgive her daughter's murderer
- How Michael Ondaatje's memoir inspired Bethlehem Gebreyohannes to write about her own life
- If you liked Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures, you should read...
- Full Episode
Bethlehem Terrefe Gebreyohannes loves Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family. For the Fire Walkers author, it's the one book that never gets old.
Ondaatje openly talked about such private family matters: their carefree lives, his parents' troubled marriage, his father's alcoholism. That, for me, was a taboo. We didn't talk about private family matters like that. It felt like I was peeking into other people's lives when I wasn't supposed to. I couldn't believe he could openly talk about it and get away with it.
His sentence structure — the words are so beautifully put together. It was full of humour. After every sentence you burst out laughing. That subconsciously opened me up to writing and to exploring my own personal and private life.
Bethlehem Gebreyohannes comments have been edited and condensed.