left Budapest where she was born in 1956 to live in Canada. She has
authored five books of poetry, and worked as a journalist from 1978 to
2008, when she began devoted her time to her poetry and fiction. She is
currently at work on a sixth volume of poetry and a second short story
collection. She is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and the
League of Canadian Poets. She teaches at Niagara College in Welland,
Ontario where she currently lives.
with Eva Tihanyi
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
Eva Tihanyi: Twelve
of the thirteen stories were written over a period totalling 9 months.
I then spent nine months the following year working with Isabel Huggan
through the Humber School of Writing to revise the ms. The thirteenth
story was added at the end of the revision process
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
I did not have a "collection" in mind when I began. It was really quite
interesting though how certain themes kept recurring in each story.
Obviously, my subconscious had an agenda!
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
are the first and only stories I have ever written, so there was
nothing discarded. The order of the stories changed a bit at the
suggestion of my editor at Inanna Publictions, Luciana Ricciutelli. It
was her idea to put Truth at
the very end--and I think it was a wonderful idea. The stories progress
in a timeline to some degree starting with the era of Picasso and
Brassai, moving on to Billie Holiday, then the sixties in The New York Times Cook Book, etc.
does the word "story"
mean to you?
What does "story" mean to me? What a good question! The word
"narrative" comes immediately to mind, but then what is it exactly that
one is "narrating." I truly believe "story" is far more than a series
of events, in other words more than "plot." And I believe that plot is
influenced by character. What happens happens at least partly because
of who the characters are. There is a quote in Isabel Huggan's Belonging
which I quite like: "...a good story is not about what happens but
about the individuals to whom it happens." I'm also very interested in
how a story is told. Language matters.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
No, I don't have a specific "reader" in mind when I write. I do think,
however, about whether I myself would be interested in reading what I'm
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection,
anything at all?
I guess I'm always curious about which
story people like best and why, and also why they picked up the book in
the first place. What drew them?
TSR: How does
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
ET: Are they? If so, that's a good thing!
I'm working on a collection of poems and also on a second story collection.
What are you working on now?
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
ET: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver; Degrees of Nakedness by Lisa Moore; Bang Crunch by Neil Smith