Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our June Author: Steven Galloway

The Cellist of SarajevoThis month we read The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway.

Lets start with this CBC interview,
While media coverage of the conflict was loaded with identifiers like “Muslim,” “Serb,” “Croat” and “Bosnian,” Galloway purposely avoided using any ethnic or religious labels in The Cellist of Sarajevo. The main characters are simply referred to as Sarajevans, their common enemy described only as “the men on the hills.”
On being Canadian, from Three Monkey's,
One advantage to being a Canadian writer is that, unlike American writers, the concept of writing the Great Canadian Novel doesn't really exist. Writing the next Gatsby isn't something you're trying to do, or at least you're not obliged to try. I think of Canada, in terms of world nations, as that guy at the party that everyone likes but nobody wants to talk to for too long! Which gives one time to sit quietly and observe what's going on. You're brought up in Canada to think about the rest of the world. We're a country full of immigrants, and we're by and large an empty nation. Many of the traits of Canada as a nation are the traits of a writer, except for extraordinary politeness - that's not a great trait for a writer!!
In this video, the author takes on a tour of key locations for the novel:

Another audio interview here.

Background on Vedran Smailovic, the orignal 'Cellist of Sarajevo'.

A lovely children's book about the cellist:

A musical homage, courtesy of Yo-Yo Ma is also available.
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