Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

READING LEAVES

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READING LEAVES

This Saturday, I will be doing a tea reading at Victoria's beautiful Abkhazy Garden. While I won't actually be reading leaves in cups, I think writing is a similar profession. In the present, we look for the images that are maps of past and future. We too are gypsies, detched from our own reality, telling fortunes by interpreting patterns.

Someone from the Silk Road Tea Company will talk about the properties and history of tea, and I will read tea poems, songs and bits of prose, accompanied by my husband on mandolin.

I'm going to read a prose section from my new novel, The Third Day Book. In it, Precious, who has spent ten years playing the pipa in China, is in England taking master classes in cello. As a student, she has been sent to do a strange gig in Bath. A chinless wonder has hired her to play while he takes tea and more with his flaccid oriental mistress in his conservatory. Weird? You betcha. Wink. Wink. This would never get by Sarah's censors.

The next question is "What to wear." While serious writers mostly like to dress down (Are we advertising poverty or taking a back seat to our words?), a tea reading presents special challenges. It is, among other things, an opportunity to wear a hat.

When I was at the Vancouver Writer's Festival last year, there was a sudden rush by visiting writers on a hat shop on Granville Island. Quite a few hats appeared at readings. Brava, I thought, a new trend, but it hasn't really taken hold.

I consulted my dear friend, Patricia Lester, a Welsh designer of haute couture and costumes for opera and film. She has dressed Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Taylor, and Helen Mirren among others. Patricia, former amanuensis for Iris Murdock at Oxford, has a real literary feel. She is an artist and writer. Her dresses have wonderful names and flow like octopus ink.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Linda Rogers

Linda Rogers is the author of the novels Say My Name (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), Friday Water (Cormorant Books, 2003) and The Empress Letters (Cormorant Books, 2007). She has also published several collections of poetry, including Love in the Rainforest (Exile Editions, 1996), Heaven Cake (Sono Nis Press, 1997), The Saning (Sono Nis Press, 1999) and The Bursting Test (Guernica Editions, 2002).

Go to Linda Rogers’s Author Page