Russell Wangersky, author of Whirl Away, will appear in three IFOA events this weekend, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize event.
IFOA: Your new short story collection has been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize (congrats!). What is it about short stories that appeals to you?
Wangersky: I like short stories for a simple, greedy reason; they are short enough that I can hold the entire story in my head while working on it. With novels, you end up going back and forth sometimes, trying to remember just exactly where something happened. The legwork is incredible, and, frankly, not much fun.
IFOA: Which of the characters in Whirl Away is most like you?
Wangersky: I think I have to say Tim McCann, the ambulance driver/paramedic in the story “911,” because he drives around with the same passle of self-doubt I do.
IFOA: When and where do you write?
Wangersky: I write at a computer in my kitchen in St. John’s, during whatever time I can steal between a full-time newspaper job and magazine freelance work.
IFOA: If you could time travel, where and when would you go, and why?
Wangersky: I honestly like the right now—but I think that’s mostly because I’m naturally unsettled with new things. I know where I fit in the familiar.
IFOA: Finish this sentence: The best part is…
IFOA: Bonus question: International Festival of Authors in one word: