The Next Chapter

The Marrow Thieves author Cherie Dimaline was once a magician's assistant

The Governor General's Literary Award-winning author remembers the strangest job she's ever had.
Cherie Dimaline is the author of the YA novel The Marrow Thieves. (Courtesy of Cherie Dimaline)

Cherie Dimaline's YA novel The Marrow Thieves won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award for English-language children's literature and was defended on Canada Reads 2018 by Jully Black. But long before her literary success, a young Dimaline was once a magician's assistant.

"​The oddest job I had was the first job I had. I was a magician assistant. My father was a magician in his spare time. I remember spending an entire summer learning how to balance on a sword. The trick is that there's three swords. Two of the swords are incredibly pointy, the third one in the middle is dull, then in the back of your outfit is a small metal bar. You have to have the metal bar exactly on the dull sword and then you have to plank and hold it. I was a young, aspiring gymnast of seven and it took two-and-a-half months to learn how to balance on the sword. It's not on my résumé currently and I certainly could never do it again — I can't even plank on a table for that long."       

Cherie Dimaline's comments have been edited and condensed.