Authors for Indies 2016

I never worked in a bookstore, but when I was fourteen the Kitchener Public Library opened a branch in my suburb. I couldn’t get there fast enough. It was raining and I slipped, ass over teakettle, on the wet floor. They hired me anyway.

I’m sure I held the record for slothful shelving. I could take up to two hours to return with the empty book trolley, and NO ONE CARED. I read my way through the stacks indiscriminately: three pages of Jean Auel, half of a Danielle Steel, the juicy bits of Leonard Cohen and Irving Layton, obviously. It was the best job going.

Fast forward a few (ahem) years. I have a book of my own out now, and for the second year in a row, I’ll play bookseller for a day. Janie Chang’s excellent stewardship has made Authors for Indies the best book party going. Last year I pressed Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawk, Alissa York’s Effigy, and Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr Fox into readers’ hands.

I have a new list of favourites this year.  Maybe they’ll let me work the cash register. One can dream.