Profile of Seen Reading at Toronto Standard

Last week, I texted Emily Keeler of Toronto Standard to say that I was early for our meeting and sitting on a patio just down the street from the cafe she’d suggested. Would she, on such a sunny day, mind if we tipped pints instead of lattes?

That went on for awhile, which led to this gem of a soundbite about my process. In my defense, I was asked if there’s an erotic charge to literary voyeurism.

Julie Wilson: Like if I were to see you, I would almost take in an image of your physicality and just blank out everything and hold onto a few key features, and if I could see the title of the book I might only remember one key word and maybe the last name of the author. That would be it. And then I would immediately jump on a computer or my phone and all of the pieces would fit in. I don’t know that I get an erotic charge out of it necessarily, but I like the idea that when I de-board a vehicle that I am walking away with the tools to rebuild a person into something that suits my needs. So what do you want to call that? The blow up doll of literature? A robotic playmate?

[TS laughs]

JW: No, it’s not, it’s really not. I don’t have a crush on all of the readers.

TS: Just some of them, right?

JW: Just some of them.

Read the whole piece — Text/Book: Narrative Impulses: An interview with Julie Wilson, the Book Madam and literary voyeur extraordinaire — at Toronto Standard.

And thank you to the writer, Emily Keeler, for being such a smart and entertaining profiler. I’ll never be allowed to leave the country again.

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