Andrew Kaufman, author of Born Weird, answered our five questions.
IFOA: Superheroes and special powers are rampant in your work, why?
Kaufman: I love the power of metaphor and story. So giving everybody a special power lets me metaphorically explore personalities and the way people react to each other. This was really fun with Born Weird, since the books about how family makes you who you are.
IFOA:Where did the idea for your latest novel, Born Weird, spring from?
Kaufman: I have two kids, seven and five, the older they get, the more obvious how much both parents and family shape you. Maybe the book partly sprung from a feeling to write a future apology to my kids, a way of saying that I really did my best.
IFOA: What book from the past do you wish you had written?
Kaufman: Franny and Zooey, Cats Cradle, The Trial—pretty well all of them?
IFOA: Do you think people are born weird or is it something that is nurtured?
Kaufman: I think there are very few forces in our culture that are nurturing weirdness. I feel like we’re all encouraged to suppress our weirdness, pave over it with fashion and steady jobs. But I’m positive that we’re all born weird.
IFOA: Finish this sentence: “A blessing is a curse when…”
Kaufman: …seen from the other side.
Kaufman will read at Authors at Harbourfront Centre on May 22.