Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hands on: Struan Sinclair

Struan Sinclair's first impulse was to lay hands on The Stone Angel.

(Being a prop from the film, being the first thing Kelly put in the room after he bought the place.)

He was reading at Aqua because he'd been nominated for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and here he was, gripping a papier-mache simulacrum of same.

Being far too relaxed for my own good, I immediately asked if there was anything he wanted to tell me about his hands.

Instead of waiting. Sinclair said something quickly and cleverly about how his thumb had been severed or was completely useless...and then he started waggling it.

I nodded dumbly, because that's all I was capable of. What a week/month/year! But, also, what...a...reading.

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Struan Sinclair
is the author of the acclaimed short story collection, Everything Breathed (Granta Books, 2000). Originally from Toronto, he now lives in Winnipeg, where he is director of the Department of English Media Lab and Writing Program/Focus at the University of Manitoba. His first novel, Automatic World (Doubleday Canada, 2009), has been nominated for two Manitoba Book Awards.

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For the original set of Hands On Project portraits, see the 2009 edition of HOT AIR, the official blog of THIN AIR, the Winnipeg International Writers Festival.


Nici said...

He's an absolutely incredible writer with a voice unlike anyone I've ever read. Would have loved to have made this reading after being blown away by Struan when I heard him in Ottawa and love love loving his novel Automatic World. What an interesting project this is! All these scribbling hands...

Ariel Gordon said...

Thanks for this, Nici. Have you read the book of short stories?

Nici said...

I have Everything Breathed, published by Granta. It has some wonderful stories, many of them set in Britain, where I think he lived for some time (?). The style and voice are quite different to the novel, I think, though it's been a while. He seems a very un-Canadian writer if that makes any sense. He read from the new book (also a novel) when I heard him and I have a feeling it will be very big. Anyway, very nice to find this site and now I have to go and try my hand(s) at a sestina.. ):